Brody Parrish Craig

Take Me to the Fairgrounds or the Hospital

I figment thoroughly. I cling the plastic. I roll cigarettes
& ride across the stars. Funnel cake, a perfect storm,
sugared brain batter. Lisping frontal lobe. Horse pills
big hot air balloons. Uncurfew the ferris wheel. Lick
god's sticky fingers clean. Sky trailered taste of cotton
candy mouth in afternoon. Too full to clutch the sick
bed, bless the coasters' fast release. You too must be this tall
to ride the dopamine ungutted Hand, a half dead goldfish
fooling in your open Jowl—the Body residue of weighted
bottle, a pink luck bear you pay to clutch. Don’t you know who I am
by now? I’m the plush crown. I’m the carnival. I’m the light show
that’s untethering. A grease fueled joy to ticket every touch.



More Ways Than One

they played the chili peppers, sliced, prepped, cut & shuffled dinner’s deck
into a stack of music, nourishment & once, we shared one name.
to one’s ingredient, & background music to another. neither knew
what we meant to each other as the sound spilled out the other’s mouth.

some ask us what it means to be survivors of & in the south,
to be stoned again & slack-jawed in the same comfortable bed,
slipping or agape in someone else’s, reciting those who trespassed
against us
on repeat, awaiting another hand to pluck the stalk
or else guitar string & couldn’t we have washed our hands
before the burns had run along each other before we ran
our pasts along to someone else’s, scar tissue that I wish you saw,
or did we recognize ourselves

or did we recognize us in each body then? more ways than one,
I watched the root unleash to thistle, peppered vine to scruple with
then scrap into the stove. as you made another meal. & as we knew
we only loved each other

for our ability to eat raw jalapeno whole if betted, & how much
the taste buds carried pain

& how we’d learned so young
how to hold the heat until
the tongue slid back from fire into numb.



Brody Parrish Craig (they/them) is the author of the chapbook Boyish (Omnidawn 2021) & editor of TWANG, a regional collection of transgender, gender nonconforming & nonbinary creators tied to the south/midwest. Their first full-length collection, The Patient is An Unreliable Historian, is forthcoming from Omnidawn in Fall 2024.