The wind once whispered ‘Edna,’ and that was close enough.
I was mildly mortified, but that’s par for the course
when each candy heart is counted like a chicken egg assumed
to grow into something meatier than a rooster’s tragic bluff.
My transparent invitations via pop songs shouted hoarse
summarized my status as an ill-tuxedoed groom
who seems like the best man if I stay standing long enough
and you get all of your news from a disreputable source.
So when the next step, like the Emperor’s wardrobe, loomed
and you found it far too simple to just trip and fall in love,
you tattle-told me tall tales about the gift and the curse
of finding what you found far too close up in your zoom.
You can find good lumber cheap but you may find the splitting rough,
and with all that work to come you’ll see that your real threat is thirst.
And since every single ounce of spit I swap or spill is doomed,
I might have been your brand had you a taste for the cheap stuff.
I speak all seven of your languages and one of them is Morse;
I can beep-beep-beep goodbyes as quick as I va-va’d your vooms.
But I won’t get bent out of shape or twist my pretzel into puffs
when I still have the chance to chew some chaw as a recourse.
I won’t write any sob stories or keep skeletons entombed,
and don’t take my words as gospel when they’re little more than guff.
I don’t doubt you for a second when you say you love all sorts
but you must aim a little higher if you hope to shoot the moon.
Andrew Daugherty (he/him) is a poet & novelist from Baltimore. He's the author of several unpublished works, including the pro wrestling roller derby noir The Big Heel and the poetry chapbook Under the Weather Girls. Past & upcoming homes for his work include COLORS: The Magazine and Bullshit Lit.