Archie Bongiovanni: Four Poems
HAVING A BODY IS HAVING A BETRAYAL
Sometimes there is nothing as sweet as scraping your own nails along your skin so go ahead do it do it now. Up your thigh. Close your eyes. You hate this body don’t you. Maybe sometimes maybe all the time. Having a body is having a betrayal. It will definitely let you down and I don’t blame you for being angry at it. You should be. This fucking flesh that we have absolutely no control over.
Scrape your nails along your thighs. Do it. Do it now. Up and down. Close your eyes. This is your fucking flesh. This is your fucking thigh. These are your fucking nails. These nails scraping you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to love your body. Because that’s bullshit.
You need to compromise with your body. You need to stare it down and be all: I don’t like you and you don’t like me but here we are partner. You each have what the other is lacking, you possess the ability to get up in the morning, to move and act and think, and your body literally has a body for you to do those things in.
And maybe, like all good buddy comedies, you’ll learn to laugh at each others stupidity and mistakes and maybe, like all good buddy comedies, the two of you will eventually learn something from each other, and maybe, like all good buddy comedies, you’ll save each other’s life someday and you two might not ever say the word love but there could be this fondness, this feeling of going through the war together.
TWO LONELY HOUSES IS BETTER THAN ONE LONELY HOUSE
I pay rent in more than one house. One is technically a home, a quaint apartment that I struggle to be alone in, the other a place where I’m surrounded by neon signs that feel like family, where the rent isn’t mailed in a check but in a hundred small bills, in exchange for one hundred weak drinks.
It’s okay to cope. It’s okay to have more than one home. It’s okay to run away for awhile. We can disappear as long as we come back. It’s okay to pay double rent. We’re not rich but we’ll make it work.
Time to snap that bone back into place. Time to fix this feeling of being separated and being segmented of being broken. It’s a shit feeling but it’s a good feeling too. I know. It's so safe it’s so goddamn safe.
Self-sacrificing is fun and you will write a lot of good poetry because of it. But as a mentor of mine once said, “YOLO BITCHES” so stop pretending to fool yourself and mend this wound cause this world isn’t gonna yolo itself, bitch.
FOR WHEN UR CRUISIN’ FOR
A CONSENSUAL BRUISIN’
Get it baby. Take what you want. Your body is so much more profound than you’ve ever given it credit for. It is so spacious and it is so powerful and babe it is so hungry. Feed it.
It’s okay to think that you are the most attractive person in the room.
Let someone sink inside you. Your body is someone’s sanctuary. Let them treat it like church. Let the apocalypse happen. They will open their mouth and you will spill down their chin.
Your body is so much deeper than you first thought.
You are a witch. Lustful but not young. You crave. You seek out. You cast a spell. Let them drink your liquid. Let them carve your name into their thighs. These hips of yours are wide and at times cumbersome but they can hold you down. You cause the earthquake and they can ride it out.
Give them a chance to answer your call. To slap your face. To bring you home again in your bones. The sound of you coming is epic. It makes dogs bark and crows fly from trees. It causes neighbors to hit their ceilings with brooms.
Loud baby. Make it louder.
Archie Bongiovanni is a cartoonist and writer in Minneapolis. Their graphic novel, A Quick And Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns has been praised by Teen Vogue, School Library Journal, Pride.com and was one of Powell’s books of the month. Their next graphic novel, Grease Bats, will be out with Boom! Studios summer 2019.