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>

 

 

 

 

 

 

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