BUNNY MAN BRIDGE by John Manuel Arias


I say, trick or treating’s complicated

and you ask me to shut up

upstairs, my mother polishes Faberge eggs

whispers to them, calls them

by the names of all the children her body couldn’t stomach

Halloween’s been cancelled this year

there’s a man in a bone-white bunny

suit driving a bone-white van and slurping out

people’s brains inside sticky porn theaters; at bus stops

on Potomac Avenue; on a cliff, a tarmac, a lonely baseball field

in the parking lot of the original Roy Rogers (now a McDonald’s)

you scrape burnt sugar from my lips, paint them lilac

we’re sitting within a circle of candelabras and all I

can think is, this octopus costume itches

I wish I could use my four extra arms to erase your picture, to

masturbate for the third time tonight to pray

on the television, the woman news anchor blurts out

the Bunny Man’s deviously handsome—he doesn’t just hop or

scurry—he walks straight into your home after you invite him in

and moans in your ears quotes Humphrey Bogart movies convinces you

your father had loved you all along

I wonder what a bunny is doing here so far from Easter

and you ask me to shut up

my tentacles hang rabbit pieces from your hair

you say, but only the feet are good luck

and maybe that’s the point

upstairs, my mother cracks open the eggs

with a spade, begins to fry the bits of marble in a cast iron pan

now she can finally forget she’d birthed me and not the others

you light a cigarette with a candelabra

and confess you’d met him once, years ago

underneath the Sousa bridge, coyly slipping out of the Anacostia

he’d coiled himself around you, begged you to hold his dick for just one second

whisper to it call it whatever you want

but please just call it something else

Halloween’s been cancelled this year you’re embarrassed

that you’d been stupid enough to wear a bunny costume

I’ve just invited you in because you’d gone door to

door, only to have them slammed in your

face, on your missing fingers

I admit to you that trick or treating’s complicated

and you ask me to shut up

call it whatever you want

but please just call it something else

JOHN MANUEL ARIAS is a gay, Costa Rican and Uruguayan poet back in Washington, DC after many years. His work has appeared in several literary magazines, including Sixth Finch, the Journal, and Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry. “I’d Rather Sink” is his debut collection.

<Steffan Triplett​ ** Raychelle Duazo>