Poem by Liam Strong

December 15, 2023

postcard to Sharon Olds from the logging trail behind the only shitty sports bar in the Arbutus Triangle

i wore the Ace Hardware box brimming with lilacs like a pair of kidneys. Sharon, i watched the Mazda burning on Ingersoll for two hours until he said he’d rather sleep. rebar tortured with rust, stockpile of snipped zip-ties. unknown phenomenon, or just men, or just whatever fits inside us. Marilyn Monroe doesn’t die the same way every single time. we could argue that love does & doesn’t mimic that exact behavior but just the thought is argument enough. the lines are short like a Celan poem & the pond is blanketed with pollen so really, he’ll only care what we’re like. the proverbial pronoun, Canaanite gods in my bloodstream, & he only cares about me as Celan just before death. the stumps are aging better than what’s living here, Sharon. i’m my mother & my mother all at once. the hollow exists whether we take teeth to the bark or not, bone with or without the ending. i don’t know how tall any of these oaks once were but i know how tall i feel. regardless. at least we have that, or what could be feeling, black trumpet mushrooms smoldering at our boots. little towns deserted on the navels of bloodless wood. living on without, or at least the thought of doing so. it sounds nicer when you say it like that, nicer than we think. living with the rotting, or another name we’ve yet to find within sight of kneeling.

About Liam Strong

Liam Strong (they/them) is a queer, neurodivergent, straight-edge, punk writer who earned their BA in writing from University of Wisconsin-Superior. They are the author of the chapbook Everyone’s Left the Hometown Show (Bottlecap Press, 2023). You can find their poetry and essays in Impossible Archetype and Emerald City. They live in Michigan.

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