Serial Monogamy

“Don’t be so pervious,”

she slapped me.

I encountered,

“But I have no epidermis.”

And, though she took me to

her sheets and

unread me like a turgid

book, I sensed she had some-

thing else in mind.

A rearrangement of my organs,

and then a better gomer.

“Look around, Buckaroo,”

she whispered

on the threshold. “The world

is full of cannibals.

Learn to love being prey.”

My next Thisbe, I thought, won’t

be so, I don’t know,

lupine. So, I

don't know, attractive.

Current Issue

Previous Issue

Editor's Note




How I got ugly is the name

of my thesis. I once

had a woman, her cheeks were

fresh as hay, her

lower back a bridge out of chaos.

It was long ago and now

I am alone at my bowl.

I hate my house for shifting its

beams. I hate all of you,

for letting me know that I’ve grown

ugly. No, I do not hate.

I do not have the energy.

I roil in disbelief, in my own improbability


It’s only a word that leads you here,

the same word

which lead me.

And tomorrow it will be erased because

it’s all temporal.

At the end of nothing there is nothing.

I wake up

just in time to hear this and misunderstand.

Corey Mesler owns Burke’s Book Store, in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the country’s oldest (1875) independent bookstores. His poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous journals including Pindeldyboz, Orchid, Black Dirt, Thema, Mars Hill Review, and Poet Lore. He has reviewed books for The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Judges selected a short story of his for the 2002 edition of New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, edited by Shannon Ravenel, published by Algonquin Books. His first novel, Talk: A Novel in Dialogue, appeared in 2002.. A poetry chapbook, Chin-Chin in Eden, is just out from Still Waters Press.

Copyright 2004, Corey Mesler.This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author.