Issue #3 // His Pinky // Josh Elbaum

flesh covered question mark
shriveled around a nail

when asking after the stump
I am shushed
a sound I become accustomed to hearing
whenever wondering aloud
about anything interesting

had an accident in a factory
my grandfather mumbles
averting his eyes
so I cannot see
the specters
that hide beneath hazel water
whisper polish promises
the names of glass-shattered
butcher shops

[this is how I first learn not to read too closely
the stories that bodies tell
against their owners’ will-
to forget whatever secret
I caught swimming
in the dark that day]

mostly I can
it becomes another endearing facet
of this strange man
I love so different from a friend
the way I love the inside
of my joints
my stomach lining
the pitch-black of my blood
when it stays where it’s needed


I can sense the absence
a kind of vertigo
each time he takes my hand
to pull me in
for a kiss


Josh Elbaum is a weirdo from California who enjoys making things about love and family and food.



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