Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Three Poems

When I look up your name meaning I get
the title hero of Rudyard Kipling’s novel                ‘Kim.’


I write to you,
and I’ve written to 

little like a drowned cat.  The envelope’s flat, the writing’s flat

we don’t apologize because it’s a relief for once not to.  Why does anyone

write letters when there are walls to throw bottles at, baths to fillup, dogs and dogs

to walk?  You have it all.  You’re an inlet on an isle, at night you clip

a man with your car (with your car, Kim) and you

levy two mattresses in your living room

to live on and write “ten glasses

of wine”


and they appeared

and filled

[kim’s letters]

Sometimes I think “I don’t want to read
anything beautiful ever
                                                                                again, only things that are TERRIBLE
and true. I wrote “I wonder,” honestly
after I wrote “in what” I thought


                                                                                      “a dress.” I need to meditate more,
(dream in which we look like rivers)
I need to find time
to place my being bored with everything.
I desperately want
to count my calories because
I’ve gained a million pounds, it’s spring
                                                                                      (because we are rivers)
and some terrible openings
have opened and
instead of thinking
“how much fat does yogurt have?” I mark
up the calendar : on which
he is beautiful and clever and
                                                                                         how do I become not the character??
I bought myself the nice kind
of tissues usually
I wouldn’t I was like I’ll try to learn
Moqi—implicit understanding and coordination
between two people. As in he said we have Moqi.
I’m swooning. Kill me.
In which I kill Kim because she asks me to
It isn’t poison because I google “best ways to kill somebody”
(…without getting caught)
(…and get away with it)
(easy ways to kill somebody)
I would write “someone” but Google corrects me to “body.”
In 25 Methods to Kill With Your Bare Hands they say
your hands are always with you.
This is the summit of the nose.
A powerful blow to the tailbone (fatal).
Allow yourself to fall backward.
Most effective on concrete or gravel.
Heartpunch. Head-to-wall-punch.
It is a long and visually supplemented list.
                                                          Kim do you have delicate
                                                          vertebrae? If I clap hard over your ears
                                                          will your brain bleed would you truly die
                                                          of eye-gouging or seriously fuck me up? I’m trying
                                                          to write a book and I’m going to murder many characters.


When I kill you what’s newsworthy isn’t
the den but the lions.
I’m in the den. You are. The walls are
smooth, smooth stone. They’re live as eyelashes. I’m not sure
if it’s sweat or a tongue or my own hair bunched
around my throat. Why are we both in the pit?
I recite : “The lion tamer had a fit and quit,
and so the lions keep roaring. They miss him,
and no one else will pet them because they’re lions.”
The lions circle us because they’re lions.
I’m trying to write a book. I recite :
“This is the sex she wishes would split her open
and murder her because she can’t deal with a _________ ___________”
(Kim, what is it you can’t deal with?)

                                                                               This isn’t a backyard, lions. You aren’t
                                                                                                in someone’s urban apartment
                                                                            sprawled on a throw after killing the dog
                                                                                                                or falling dramatically
                                                                                                                        (from?) or fucking
                                                                                                    the filing cabinet seriously up.

                         They are at our necks, they are finding our seams; relax Kim.
Do this while screaming as screaming has two purposes :
First you scare the lions. You put
more oxygen into




Melissa Goodrich received her M.F.A. from the University of Arizona and lives and writes in Tucson, Arizona. She can be reached at