2 Poems by Bailey Pittenger

Garlic Powder

Before the apocalypse, every man will passive aggressively talk to every woman who wouldn’t date him about Madame Bovary.

And every man will lose control of his bowels and slide in his own shit like a slug. Every man will wiggle and bend in either pain or constipation.

Before the apocalypse, every man will pray for a heaven. Every man will call to his dead mother for forgiveness.

And every man will lose his sight. Every man will evolve an acute sense of smell. Every man will look for his mother by following the scent of garlic powder.

Before the apocalypse, every man will ask his partner to swallow whole cloves of garlic. Every partner will gulp garlic cloves one by one as an expression of love and salvation.

And every man will burp his partner. Every man will stick his tongue deep into his partner’s mouth.

Before the apocalypse, every man will grow eye tentacles and dart sacs. Every man will realize that all he ever wanted were eye tentacles and dart sacs.

 
Honeysuckle

After the apocalypse, every man will go to cat shows to feel alive again. Every man will smell cat shit and impulsively love his ex even more.

And every man will return to his catless home and roll around in heat. Every man will go to graduate school, and then post his new ideas to Reddit. Every man’s mind will be stuffed like a mealy sausage.

After the apocalypse, every man will work for the postal service. Every man will lick every envelope to get high.

And every man will get paper cuts on his tongue. Every man will ask for extra honey packets from Popeye’s. And every man will suck and gnaw until the honey seeps out.

After the apocalypse, every man will feel sticky with wet sugar. Every man will grab all that he wants. Every man will be covered in cat fur.

And every man will miss the things that cats kill. Every man will prefer to be a mouse, a laser light, and that bird that sang sweet songs during a first date.

After the apocalypse, every man will fuck like a bird. Every man will leap and flap and peck under the pressure of being watched. But, every man will be too sticky to fly.

And every man will stay on the ground. Every man will be covered in scars and cat scratches. And every man will not speak because of his burning tongue.

————
Bailey Pittenger currently resides in the midwest, where she is an MFA candidate at the University of Notre Dame. Her work can be found on the CounterArchives to the NarcoCity website, and is forthcoming in NANOfiction. She sometimes summons animals just by thinking of them.

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