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Max Heinegg: Three Poems

Selected by Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor

Context

Kink in others is a fabulous bird I
turn to see immediately a paraded
fetish, a coed quad sprint, an all-ass
cyclist. You bet I’ll flip a beach read
to find borrowed leather, sapphic
this, salty that, tips to pleasure in grocery lines

but I’m not tempted to be so open— I need
covers, for fear God notices me in the breeze.
Any sex sans injury is admirable & I also want
to be as liberal as the summer reading the
women do this cocktail hour of Littlefinger’s
hot bordello or the outlandish
Scottish crotch party. I’m studying

love for my one-shot body can’t rock the
confidence the athlete drops outside for all
in a swimsuit swap, ‘cause my sad, trained
eyes still hit the floor like a Catholic’s,
faking prayers as she brightens the votives
of her light pink nipples.

*

Control

Lean Dr. K cupped me in iodine
clinically. I stared at the ceiling, while he
asked what I taught to distract, knotting
my tubes into an aimless bow.  I winced
in silence, like a Spartan, I told myself—
then hobbled from the bloodstained
room to a colleague’s car. Home, I
followed as Walter White navigated his
suburban inferno, for now the author
of a private destruction. I lay baby peas
upon my stones, frozen like the Devil
in Dante, in place from the waist down.

*

Expectations

You ask me if I remember what to do
with your body when you die?
What if I go first?

You won’t, & make me promise to give
your ashes to the waters you love:
one half for Lake George, one
half for Good Harbor, the
local remembrance, & then,
ocean, oblivion.

At dinner, when the retelling of the day
becomes drama, our daughters ask, Why
does it always have to be oblivion?
, the word
an inside joke, how we’re too expressive,
every problem operatic.

They’re right though, we take this shit
deadass
. Raised missing religion, we
chase the sacred because we are the
ones who’d ruin the commune for
not sticking to its founding
principles—vowing to the waves to
trade ashes for passage, knowing
our children will have to help us
reach the other.

 

Photo credit: Max Heinegg

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