NO TONGUE CAN TELL
You start by saying you’d rather live anywhere
else, and jump from the weather to roadwork to how
the lack of gay bars in this town makes you itch. You swear
you saw a guy at Wal-Mart slick his hair
with Vaseline. I never did that, but I know
boys who did: jocks with camo caps and torn leather
boots. I’m still crammed in the same state with different kinds
of clueless guys. I look at you, and you raise
another shot in salute. I’m gin-lipped and racing
my fingers through my bale of hair. It’s easy
for a boy who’s spent his life at the edge of orchards
to believe in rebirth. Everyone from the Midwest stocks
curses in their cheeks. We serve our spite
on plates of cheese. We sing Bob Dylan
to our cattle. Listen, I could be your boy. I could be unshaved
arms, the voice to break each morning like a lamp.
Just tell me you want to stay, to see
how every storm blots a rainbow over the beach.
I want your fists in a sand dune. I want you
to lick the gristle caught between my teeth.
I know what it’s like to have the smallest parade.
Brian Czyzyk is a first-year MFA candidate in poetry at Purdue University. Originally from Northern Michigan, he has work published and forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, Harpur Palate, Whiskey Island, Midwestern Gothic, Nimrod, and elsewhere. He wishes you the best. Follow him on Twitter, @bczyzykwrites.