Poetry by Edward Jesse Capobianco

Aglets Papered Out

After we fought, I went home to find you had taken your revenge. I’m not sure how you managed, but my apartment had been redecorated into a perfect replica of the 1970s Baptist church I had dreamed two nights before. Carpet thick, plush—brown like mustard-stained leather shoes left under a dust waterfall. Instead of furniture, thick-varnished pews. My bed somehow origamied into an altar, all angled teak and Italian tubular steel.

Joke’s on you, though, because this is just what I’ve always wanted. I peel at my skin and, like dried Elmer’s, it comes off. Underneath it’s all wide-lapelled pink pantsuit, shoulder pads, shoulder-length brown hair. Platforms hidden under flares.

Months pass and I sleep in the pews, fuck on the altar, floss each tooth with plastic organ keys. I’ve melted down the crosses into little

mmmmmmmmm—– escalators I mounted in their place. They remind me of two years ago, living with you. Every day we’d get home and pass through the miniaturization ray until we could fit deep into the grooves at the top of the escalator where our apartment, advertised as cutting edge, floated inside with its tiny plexiglas walls. We’d watch the behemoth cliffs slice through the air around us, disappearing into slots. Sometimes we’d drop a cigarette on the ground and watch it move past our feet, slipping under a crack in the wall as the floor moved on and on to darkness.


you duck it’s raining cats and dogs


What difference is there

between a hissing bowl of cereal

and the wet slap of a thousand cicadas?


You find yourself speaking—that is,

spitting slick bits of gold leaf

like fuzz on your tongue.


A word cloud hangs

like silty milk






a single

sound: Christ’s


hot wails, Christ’s

mistakes, slipping in and

out of old French, a locust plague.


You’re a baby your tongue waffles you

wake up with jam stigmata. What difference

can you find when I snap you’ll have found it. Now.

Edward Jesse Capobianco is an MFA candidate and thesis fellow in poetry in the ugliest town in America. His work has been published in Barrelhouse, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Rough Beast, and others. His work has been awarded The Joseph A. Lohman III poetry prize through the Academy of American Poets.

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