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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