pareidolia in the form of a lamprey by Liam Strong

            ur seeing moons in the face
            of the moon. yeah every nite is
            full w/ ur moon in the face
            of another man. oh he the Dreamworks 
            logo. he hooked. he dipping
            his toes into ur ribs. in the morning
            ur blanket is a milky cloud. a rabbit 
            humping another rabbit. ur toes
            scare u poking under the fabric.
            these are not ur toes.

            the barista pours u rosetta & tulips.
            the bartender offers a tumbler w/ silt snowing @ the bottom.
            the boyfriend’s boyfriend’s boyfriend smears his 
            breath onto the frozen windshield.
            he paints a dick. then he paints 
            a smile on it. he paints a face. it is urs. it is smiling.
            this is a lie.

           u go on a date to an art museum. 
           the boi u are w/ likes abstract art. he stares @ a floor 
            to ceiling canvas of blurred burning ochre with a focus similar 
            to that of watching porn. 
            watching porn together as u know is pretty awful.
            u want to be porn for him but he’s all about
            the autumnal hell in the acrylic before him. “my uncle’s house
            was lost in a wildfire in California last year,” 
            the boi says. in the painting u see a toilet
            which is a kind of mouth,
            ur thighs cramped with moonlight 
            & blood & lube. “there’s a first
            time for everything,” u console. 
            this was the last nite u started seeing him. 

            listen to ur air conditioner in the car. misread
            every emoji. put a record on @ a faster speed. 
            have a night terror. have another. catch a man’s
            face in the screen of one of the library’s public computers. 
            stick a positive & positive
            magnet together. buy a rock polisher & smooth out
            the expressions of men in chert. the weasel
            & the whale are close relatives. u know this.


            u get sick in cars when ur the passenger. ur stomach
            in ur mouth & ur mouth out
            the window. u don’t read anymore cuz of this. speed 
            bumps fuck u up. tell him to slow down real slow. tell him
            u have a hemorrhoid. tell him u can still have sex 
            later. tell him u are sorry. the wind snatches
            ur apology or something but u don’t speak the rest
            of the ride. the sky all cloud cover 
            & wrinkles. u want to see a lot
            of things. clouds
            in the shape of clouds. yeah. 
            eels crawling up chain link fence
            like grapevine. yeah. that’s it.
            u suck off bois long
            enough & they all become lampreys. eventually
            every boi is just a hallucination.

Liam Strong is a Pushcart Prize-nominated queer writer and has earned their BA in Writing from University of Wisconsin-Superior. You can find their essays and poetry in Impossible Archetype, Rathalla Review, Glass Mountain, Lunch Ticket, Chiron Review, Panoply, Prairie Margins, and The 3288 Review. They live in Traverse City, Michigan.