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Poems by Matty Layne Glasgow

THE POWER(BOTTOM) IS YOURS

for Captain Planet

 
I wanted you then–
all the silver-blue & crystalline

waves of muscle washing over
your body. Your hydro-powered

biceps, turbine thighs, washboard
abs. I imagined my tongue gliding

through every trough, pausing
on each crest. You were the world

in my child eyes. Even now,
that green mullet has me crying

O captain, my captain. So I guess
I’ve always loved your planet.

Just call me Ma-ti–all heart
with a big gay monkey on my back.

Was it always so obvious? Did those
planeteers see him sitting there

before I even knew? It’s strange how shame
can change the climate

of our cheeks. How it tastes like petrol
when it leaks from my veins. You

always said, “the power is yours,”
but I want to give it back to you.

This ring glows heavy on my hand.
It’s all earth & fire, wind & water,

but no love left in this drowning world.

 

THE QUARTERING OF TUPAC AMARU,

OR HOW TO DISEMBODY A REBELLION

somewhere is a brown boy, a black girl
who tells the story: how the ropes still
pull & flex like each stallion’s hind legs,
how sun & scream careen that May day
in all directions. but this body cannot
break until lightning falls & thunder-
clap over Cuzco. somewhere is a 1957
Mexican comic book–rebel as super
hero: hairless torso, arms & pecs cut like
lean meat & holding those horses in
place until the skies open & blade severs
head from body because he can never be
pulled apart. somewhere is an arm
buried, a leg buried, the head buried, &
ashes scattered over Peru.

everywhere is a Brown girl, a Black boy
who knows the story too well, the way
bullets push through flesh, & this sharp
white background drains the color from
their bodies. everywhere the sky opens
over hands up,  falls on don’t shoot–
final cries as elegies of a Brown girl, a
Black boy. everywhere is a video filmed
& posted & buried beneath our white
background. everywhere is a Black boy
buried, a Brown girl buried, a Black girl
buried, a Brown boy buried. everywhere
law & order pulls these bodies like rope,
sinks their color into the earth, & a
country watches.


MATTY LAYNE GLASGOW is a pixie of a poet and MFA Candidate at Iowa State University where he served as the Poetry Editor for Flyway. Matty’s work has appeared or is forthcoming from journals here and there, including Muzzle Magazine, The Collagist, Rattle, Cosmonauts Avenue, Wildness Journal, and elsewhere. A Poetry Reader for The Adroit Journal, Matty loves beautiful words and the people who write them.