Ryan Bollenbach

dear silver pliers,

If a  train filled with chrysanthemums is running your perimeter,
if it is  filled  with 
tulips,  if my finger  is inside  the cargo, is  the
train   holding  or   being  held.  The   pink  
inside  of  the  cheek 
outside.  Remember  the  pink  horizon  is  born  of  pollution. If

the  train  runs  from  the  tip  of  your  mouth  inside  my  nose,
from  handle to the 
trunk  of  my  tongue, what is the interstice
of taste  and  smell. What is the  name of
a  mum. The  nose and
its   hairs   a  forest  to  live  in,  the  webbing   above   a   dower.
Level  the  forest  for its sapphire  tear.  Raze  the burrows  and
take   the   spider’s   silk.  
Squeeze    spiders  to   fill   a   vile  of
antivenom.  If  I  am  only  a mouth, if I  am  no-armed, 
no-axed,
what am I  to  do   when  I  can’t  see   past  the  forest’s  foliage.
What   do   I   do  
when   the   neighbor’s   door    hinge   creaks
into evening.


























dear plastic tweezers,

Pull  out  the black  splinter of December. I want  to  walk  and  I
don’t   want    to   walk.   I   want   to  see   the   skin   and  wound
draining.  That  is, a  head,  my  mother’s  warm  lap  and  a  pew.
The  maceration of flesh and  the  spider’s  bite.  You  pull  a  leg
out of the exoskeleton and the spider stumbles. I give the scarf,
hutch of my dead flesh, and  ask  that it  is  torn instead. Thread
by thread.  In  remembrance  of my  childhood bottom on a cold
tile near the exit sign of an  idea. The  smell  of  vanilla  and  the
moon  waning  behind  the  crossed   pane.  I  am   in   my  closet
between  my   Sunday   clothes  sticking  my  arms  through  the
cotton collars. I  am  walking  to  the  car  with  no shoes. Pull me
out  of  December  like  a  vesper,  tea  leaves  damming the sink
drain.





























Ryan Bollenbach is an MFA candidate in the University of Alabama MFA program and former poetry editor of Black Warrior Review. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Foundry, Heavy Feather Review, Mesmer, and elsewhere. Find him on twitter at @SilentAsIAm.