“Modest Mouse Plays in the Background While I Get Fucked Against the Sink” & “Ekphrasis of Memory by René Magritte, Oil on Canvas, 1948” by Lip Manegio

purple illustrations of eggplant, lollipops, berries, and cigarettes

Modest Mouse Plays in the Background While I Get Fucked Against the Sink

masculinity has always been a mouthful of skyline resting across my palms.
something i coughed up in the bathroom of yesterday’s truckstop stall.
a backwash of parliament 100s. the kind of arrogance that will
cock a gun at heaven, shoot God & call it martyrdom. isaac
keeps yawping on about shame while i’ve been admiring my hands
turning into nothing but hangnails. my gums grinning blood
back at me every morning. i look in the mirror. feel an ache,
burn of i want more. screech of steel against your one good rib.
the crack of a neck left to sit too long in the sun. i want to learn
how to tan leather, to stretch something until it has nothing left
to give. i say masculinity – i mean the taste of mercury coiled around 
the root of a cock. coarse grazing of knuckles against the crown of a head. 
fine,      i, i might be wrong, but      who’s gonna tell me that? 
who’s gonna look me in the eye and tell me it can’t all be mine? 
who will dare creak me away from my own thirst. from the only
well i ever found deep enough. from whatever will whet
my tongue first.

Ekphrasis of Memory by René Magritte, Oil on Canvas, 1948

the thing about the remembering is that the first bit
to come back will always be the blood. the seeping. the
stain on the mattress. i don’t mean to be reductive, but
how much more is there to say? i could tell you about
the air at low tide. or how when i left, it was misting out.
actually, i forgot that part until just now. funny, the things
we are able to disremember. funny, how quickly the flower
wilts after being yanked from its vase. funny, how safe
it believes itself to be, until suddenly it isn’t. the thing
about remembering is that it will always be a painful
process. they say the more you recall something,
the less accurate you become. every flash, a new leak
sprung. a drip from the temple. why do you think i keep talking
about it? maybe if i tell you the exact texture of her cock
wedged against the back of my throat i won’t have to mind
anymore. sorry, i forgot to be subtle, again. these mistakes
tend to happen. please, forgive me. there’s a reason i stopped
looking you in the eye. there’s a reason for the gash across.
the ocean isn’t what you think it is. not everything that is filled
is meant to one day drain.

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Lip Manegio (they/them) is a white, nonbinary dyke, poet, bookmaker, & designer. Their work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Puerto del Sol, Gordon Square Review, Tin House, and been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes. They serve as editor in chief at Ginger Bug Press & are the author of We’ve All Seen Helena.

MeiLi Carling is a Philadelphia-based designer, illustrator, and musician who is currently earning their MFA in Graphic and Interactive Design at Tyler School of Art. Their favorite places are the gay beach, the Asian grocery store, and bed. You can find them at meilicarling.com or @meilicarling on Instagram and Twitter.