Hannah, a Sunfish

Words and phrases
Get buried under my skin.
I pull the goddamned
Things out with
Blunt needles and
Screwy pliers while
Classic rock plays
In the next room.
Phlegmy tales from
My adventures abroad:
Flat days spun out from thick tornadoes,
The cold fire of an English winter.
The memory of decent meals laced with frozen meat
And ruined skin tied up in perfect bundles.
But those were empty meanderings, the
Solace of ruined moments and
Beatific outcomes, captured in thoriated
Aluminum cages, bound to the page with cheap tape
Or complex software designed for an optimized experience.
Those works arrived complete with the ridiculous names
I chanced upon while staring at the filthy experience
Of jazz-soaked television.
Such finite transmissions destroyed whole planets,
Made all water a seething source of discontent.
Capable on weekends of swallowing entire stars
And wind-guided bird flight while I dreamt Orion was invisible.
My hands were full of holes and broken in a manner
Suggestive of organic processes or the meat grinder.
The only way I could remember your eyes
Was to break long sentences into short
Futile utterances. Later that night, I told
The president of Teenage Metropolis to remove
All references to mediocrity, to make a soliloquy
From vacant millennialism. I said take these eyes
Because empty gestures grow from the sort
Of blind compliance which, when combined
With grief, yields fresh, endless precipitation.
Now comes a year. All of the familiar light
Is hidden. The hunter lies blazingly below
The wicked horizon. But flowers will certainly
Blossom. Tulips and roses refer obliquely to a tendency
To empty every bucket.
By that reckoning
I am the grandest sort
Of charlatan, breathing
Life into corn and beauty
Into dust. I am not a poet.
So next time I will wear an elaborate and digitally articulated
costume with permanently forlorn antelope horns for eyes,
a real dragonfly brooch and the loamy fragrance
of summer invading my hair like four hundred million
tiny star ships programmed for the autonomous
and robotic exploration of nearby planetary objects.
A cloak made from freshly cut tobacco and ruined
cornhusks will lovingly shield me from all instances
of cold water. There will be gloves of sufficient technological
advancement, made for the hands of astronauts, faraway cowboys,
the open mouths of the earth. For shoes I will paint my feet
with plutonium and initiate a heavy yet self-replicating dance
describing the celestial mechanics that cause the moon to circle
around like it is made from the past, so far away and endless.



Rudolfo Carrillo

Rudolfo Carrillo is a writer/artist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Carrillo holds a BFA  from the University of New Mexico and is currently a graduate student in the UNM English Department. His art work has appeared at 6o6 Gallery, Raw Space, and the ASA Gallery; his literary work has been featured in Typo Mag, On Barcelona, and Maverick Magazine; his work as a journalist has appeared in many regional publications. Carrillo was the news/music editor at Weekly Alibi – where he wrote as August March. Rudolfo recommends the New Mexico Black Leadership Council.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 20:58