hobart logo

June 7, 2023 Poetry

3 Poems

Conor Ryan

3 Poems photo

may the gods of public road maintenance guide your soul

the custard from a day-old boston cream 
drips down my chin as i take an ugly bite
while heading down main street. it’s cloyingly sweet 
in the gouging late-afternoon heat. i pretend 
i’m doing a cum-walk that will be uploaded 
in 144p to xhamster 
for ugly men to jerk off to 
at 2am, but i smile thinking 
for a second i’d be the apple 
of someone’s eye. in the blinding light 
i yearn (lmao) for sloped nails
sharpened to a point, slicing into my back 
so all the grime underneath them slips
into my tissues and grows into something 
loveable. step by step i interpret
the rorschach asphalt. a map leading me 
where i need to be (on a studded leash).


my anxiety called to say everyone hates me and i’m like, “so true, bestie!”

waking up in my best friend’s room as the sun 
lights a negative of the window
on one of his skim-coated cream walls when
the glass clown on the sill says something
along the lines of, “you’re a fucking joke 
like me.” but i try to ignore it 
as i kiss my partner’s forehead right 
where they scraped their head on a tree the night 
before while gathering dry sticks to keep 
a fire going and help a stranger 

stay warm.
                   taking only half doses

for a week simply to see if i’m still 
there leads directly to spiraling 
in an uncomfortable dining room chair 
while i notice everyone’s individual 
tension tangling and taunting me.
and i am a rock or more so 
a temporary tattoo that is always 
peeling instead of a real one setting 
and healing. and the glass clown dives in 
with a “you don’t deserve so much 
beauty.” i nod my head shakily.


february 14th

cupid gets drunk and bored during the 364 days he has off and if i were him 
i’d also blindfire arrows into rural barns at 3AM just to see what 
happens. but today’s the one day he’s not hungover. dead sober 
sipping from a can of lukewarm non-alcoholic PBR in between the routine 

of squaring his shoulders, straightening his arm, pulling the string 
to the corner of his mouth, taking aim, letting go, and watching the barbed tips rip 
straight through the necks of anyone tilting their heads for a kiss. everyone 
is skipping through human sprinklers of blood spurting from carotid arteries 

in the harsh fluorescence of the local Walgreens to buy sidewalk chalk 
shaped like abstract lust. and we’re all rubbing giant pink grinning teddy bears 
in the rivers of gore flowing through the aisles. it’s all caked on like the love we feel 
in our hearts, which are all tattooed in comic sans with words like “crazy 

4 u” and “i’m going to live forever in the home i make out of your skin” and “soul 
mate.” then as we all shove the stems of roses down our throats, a Michael Bolton song 
playing so loud on the store speakers that our eardrums are about to burst, we choke out 
all the words we’re too scared to say in the intimacy of every other day.


image: Conor Ryan