Matt Ryan is the author of Read This or You’re Dead to Me (forthcoming Hopewell Publications). His work has appeared in numerous journals, including Pindeldyboz, Word Riot, Mud Lucsious, Ghoti and Opium. He is the publisher and editor of the poetry press, Lowbrow Press, the fiction editor of Best New Writing and teaches creative and academic writing at Concordia St. Paul University.
Here I am on the corner of some woman’s conscience, where raindrops fall and linger on my eyewear. She wants to climb inside the beads of water and skinny dip to expose the birthmark on her back that’s shaped like a footprint.
She insists that we communicate through charades—how many words, how many syllables? She learns business is good, that I’m a visionary: the first male whore who has ever attempted to franchise himself, selling little prostitute pieces of me that will glow so pretty in red lights around the country.
The thought of her friends doing commerce with me between trips to Home Depot and Starbucks is meant to comfort her, but her tears suggest otherwise. She tapes a black X across my mouth, which is an efficient way to say that there are no winners at tic tac toe.