Matt Ryan

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Matt Ryan is the publisher and editor of the poetry press, Lowbrow Press, a fiction editor for Best New Writing, and teaches creative and academic writing at Concordia St. Paul University. His work has appeared in Paper Darts, Opium, decomP, Pindeldyboz, Word Riot, Breadcrumb Scabs, Mud Luscious and numerous other journals. His work has been rejected by Copper Nickel, Fugue, Rattle, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and numerous other journals.

Read This Or You're Dead to Me by Matt Ryan

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Let’s love the woman not for her flesh but for her bone. When the embalming fluid burrows beneath the leg tissue and the breast, it’s the femur and the sternum that will stick around waiting for you to excavate them, you dog, you boner of a man, you widower who digs a shallow grave for his lonely erection, who no longer knows who or what to hump.

So when you love a woman, let her knees nest into yours, let her fingers plant eggs into the calluses of your hands that hatch love in unsuspecting places and then climb the ladder of her ribcage until you rest your cheekbone into hers, Siamese-like, even though she is not your sibling.

My sibling, by the way, is a brother named Geoff, who exists on the periphery of this poem, way over in Ohio, which is the furthest possible distance from a poem. He sells life insurance, which reads nothing like poetry, except for that suicide clause that understands how a man feels when he’s separated from what a woman hides under the catacombs of her skin.

Butt Mints

I don’t fart, but when my butt whispers, it has really bad breath. My butt never stops blabbing, even if I’m at a library or a funeral. It doesn’t care. It’s a little chatterbox. It usually says the same thing, and since it demands your attention, it gets all up in your face.

“Hey, buddy. Do you have a mint?”

On the one hand, I’m apologizing for my butt’s behavior, but on the other, I want you to know I won’t consider it invasive if you insert a mint in my anus. I’d actually appreciate it if you did. I’ve always wanted my butt to give off an arctic vibe in case a family of Eskimos found themselves around the crevice of my ass. I want them to feel at home. I want them to come in and enjoy themselves.

Make sure, though, that the mint you feed me is sugar-free or else my buttocks will get all hyper and start ricocheting off the furniture and insist on playing “Got Your Nose” despite your lack of interest. It plays the “Extreme” version of this game, which means my clenched ass will attach itself to your face, steal your nose and then swallow it so you can’t get it back.

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