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November 6, 2020

2 Poems

Matt Mitchell

Not Another Jason Bateman Love Poem

After 3 consecutive episodes, Netflix asks me
if Jason Bateman and I are still enjoying the coo
of this specific heaven—where we are nothing
but paid-off mortgages floating around cars
in rush hour traffic. I say yes and pull Jason Bateman in real close
just so I can study his perfectly-symmetrical face.
We chew the juice out of our lunchtime grapes and spit the skin away.
I ask him what he plans to do with his share of the Pacific Ocean,
and he says, turn it into a zoo for endangered glaciers.
He pauses. Or just give it all away, he adds.
We selfie by a city once a vacant lot. I Instagram it and tag the moon.
I make a hashtag out of his jawline,
and it becomes the first hashtag that can cut glass.
He calls me a beach and leaves a good Yelp review about my collarbones.
He says he has really been getting into Buddy Holly lately
and I don’t even consider telling him he’s about 50 years late.
Because when Jason Bateman and I kiss,
the 5th dentist caves and recommends Trident gum.
He kisses with his eyes closed, like god intended.
Jason Bateman’s mouth tastes like the inside of a lava lamp. Electric.
We climb mountains to break hearts. We eat birds to become birds.
We take a dip together in the nearby lake
just to see who can hold their breath underwater longer.
Below the surface, I cheat and say I love you.
We come up for air. He asks, did you say something?
and I say, I asked ‘how are you’.

*this poem contains references
to multiple Ed Ruscha paintings


Sex at Noon Taxes

On our first date, we rented a kitchen from the local home furnishings store. And by rented, I mean we just sort of saw the display and called it ours for the night. It already came with a table, so we thrifted some blankets and pillows from a bedroom display. You said, watch this. So, of course I did. I watched you throw the blankets high in the air and I watched them float down, beautifully, like microfiber parachutes, and land perfectly on top of the table. We lined the pillows around each side of the table until they created a fortress. I brought glow-in-the-dark sticky stars and stuck them to the underbelly of the table. Everything was yellow. We played songs on my phone, but I kept rewinding the chorus of Never My Love by The Association, so I guess we really only played one song. But it was our song. You told me you were first obsessed with palindromes. But then you were really obsessed with D.B. Cooper, especially obsessed with how he jumped from a moving plane and lost his shoe mid-plummet and said it happens to everybody before disappearing. You said the world was bad news, because someone looked at cooked bread and said what if we cooked it again and now we have toast. On a piece of printer paper you lifted from the back room while the store manager showcased a refrigerator, you wrote NO ENTRY in black sharpie. And you taped it onto the doorway we made out of backpacks. And when the store manager finally found us, of course he wanted in. Who wouldn’t. But he couldn't guess the password, so we laughed and giggled and kissed while he rattled off a thousand incorrect words, never knowing the password was just 1-2-3-4. It was right then and there when I found the river in god’s mouth. Right then and there when I couldn't wait to buy you a city and make it an ocean. Couldn’t imagine doing anything else but spending our whole lives hiding in that blanket fort, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. and another and another and another.