Good Dang


Lullabies in my head

humming while by myself

while you’re upstairs

in your magic suit

two sizes too big for you


I know you’ll grow into it.

All the busyness

addressing us like we’re important

something I’m still getting used to


and you’re dang good

at being cute, cause you’re used to it

and when we went

to the mirror three days ago

and we watched each other’s eyeballs


you recognized yourself as one of those

fleshy masses morphing into shapes blurring

and good dang I was exhilarated

you recognizing yourself.



Not a Whip


When she learned to smile

beyond pure bodily reaction

I wanted to freeze the air.

Used to her yearnings

I await her laughter to join

so mine can increase,

her voice to discover rhythm

fingers their convenience

taste introduced to salt and cheese

carrots and cucumbers

and the menagerie of our garden.

Will she learn I am not a saint

but not a whip, merely

a man living with her

in the same messy world-

as her distinctions grow like cracks

in glass will she shatter

will she be the disappointing one

or will I, or will we share that title

after reconciliation,

or will we be among the lucky ones?





I’ll never consider you a princess

unless you marry a prince,

because I believe in a world

kinder than ignorant falsities-

one which understands princesses

are forced to feign affection,

forced to forgo their emotion

for the profit of formulation,

and I am arrogant enough to foresee

it hurting me more than you

when you mature to forget

you ever cared, but the stinger

leaving poison in my affection –

tickling periodically as I consider

you controlled verses independent,

forgetting you hold your sword

and slice your moments

like grilled pineapple, reminds

my country-seeking heart

that a flower flourishing

in a filthy gully is yet more beautiful

than a princess pretending

there are no young ladies picking

up their buckets full of pig shit,

hauling it over to the valley,

tossing it in pride knowing that

that toss signifies a cleanliness

you’ll never experience, even

if you marry a goddamned prince.


–Maxwell Redder

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