Valentine’s Day Massacre Presents: Mary Ann Honaker

Our second Valentine’s Day Massacre entry for today. Mary Ann Honaker’s piece below, we argue counts more in the massacre category, making it 4-2 with love still in the lead (though one of our staff wonders if it should be counted twice).

 

Crawdad

I remember the boyishness of your face,
the soft sweet shampoo-scent of your curls.
The warm give of your waist
as I held on for that one ride
on the back of your dirtbike.
The unexpected rutted forest shortcut.
The quickly passing trees.

And you alone in the wreck
of your parents’ first house.
The bedroom doors caved in by fists.
Nothing in the fridge but mustard, ketchup,
and a 12-pack of Bud going quick.
We watched The Outlaw Josey Wales.
Every time Clint Eastwood said, “I reckon so,”
you sniggered and rewound the VCR.

One night you had a live crawdad in a cooler.
You kept taking it out to hold in your palm.
Then suddenly you changed, snarled;
hurled the brittle creature against the wall.
It crunched, fell to the floor. Cracked
and devoid of one claw, it writhed in pain.
Its agony made you angrier. I don’t know why.
You threw it again and again and again.

I remember you stole my Master of Puppets.
At the instant of the thwack! when I backed
my car into a pole, the cassette lept
from my tape deck
to the front pocket of your flannel.
You made an innocent face. I let it slide.I don’t know why.

Sometimes I still think, if I ever go back
to that town, at least you will be there,
one familiar face. I don’t know why
I so often forget how they found you,
alone in your house, some mention of a gun.

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

Mary Ann Honaker holds a B.A. in philosophy from West Virginia University, a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a Paralegal Certificate from North Shore Community College. She has previously published poetry in Harvard’s The Dudley Review, Crawlspace, Gold Dust, Dappled Things, Hoi Polloi, The Foliate Oak, The Gloom Cupboard, Euphony, Caveat Lector, Dark Sky Magazine, The Pennon, Spark, Off the Coast, Zig Zag Folios, Van Gogh’s Ear, The Lake, and Walking is Still Honest. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 

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