Poetry: Kirk Pinho

Rape Envy (III)

I wanted to invade


            your body like ants

in the Valley of Horribles:            

            there’s fucking

and then there’s fucking.

There are two reasons

        for saying I’m sorry: 

              one for what I did

and one for what happened         

              to you

        and then we

understand we’ve forgotten

the difference.

Rape Envy (VIII)

                Let’s pretend for a moment

that I am the smell of your body / and

    what I find in the clutch of your elbow

             when I’m sober / is oleander

         or a purple tuck of bruise / 

  / or coriander or coitus / O, orgasm

we spent days in the ICU recovering from / O, Adonis,


     by sinews and viscera I am joined.

Rape Envy (XII)

with lines adapted from Dean Young

                 (For Rebecca)


I wanted to make a double-helix in your mouth and unravel it.

I wanted our tongues to make a French braid and they did.

I wrapped my arms around your waist tight like a seatbelt

in the parking lot at 5:00 a.m. on a morning cool like sirloin.

I held my breath as I would a dandelion and sucked yours in.

I thought about you and gave my brain a charley horse.

My friends would probably say I’m not allowed

to say that your lips were soft in a poem, but they were.

I can think of ways to describe how soft they were:

Like raspberries, like they were sewn to the gaping maws of angels,

like the goldfish corpses we retrieved with cheap nets,

pre-rigor mortis, tender and sweet.


Beneath your clothing is skin and beneath your skin

are the bones and the viscera—all those reasons

why our bodies can be considered schematics,

why our bodies can be considered blueprints,

the world’s most reliable taxonomies,

why a firecracker freezes in midair to

salute us, mouthing: Elephant shoe two, too.


We are so gravitational that we turn to chalk.

We should go to the moon in a rented spaceship

wrapped in a mezzo-soprano of machs

and carve our initials in its surface with nails.

There, we can prove everything mankind thinks

it knows about the stars is bullshit.

For example, Ptolemy never taught us

that they say gesundheit when you sneeze into your hand.

Galileo was all like: Shooby-dooby-doop. Shoobity-doobity-doop. And

I’m sorry. I was unclear on the capacities of attraction.


When love is an argument for rapture, that’s when we’ll say,

Hark, motherfuckers! Lo! Maybe now’s the time to buy a sports car

and floor it all the way to Churchill Downs because

darling, darling, everywhere is flames but where we are, and

here we are, invited to eternity, our handprints on its glass,

the smudges entwined like a fluff of wisteria.

All rights reserved to Kirk Pinho.

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