Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Mary-Alice Greases Her Gun with Butter


With all the broke-necked kittens
in this ditch, you reckon we’ll
never make it past preschool. I am
not having it. I get on my
hind legs, pour a glass of
whatever-the-fuck and belt out
scales like a viper. Nine times out
of ten really means nine times out of
ten, which is good to know because
certainty is a rabid dog tethered
to a stake in a pockmarked
backyard while you’re posted up
on the porch. To be honest, wind
honeycombing chain-link fences
and my father’s crown of surgical
staples fashion a banister-leaner
out of this freight train. You are always
nine-point-buck-frightened and
asking questions like decades, heavy
with unfathomable hairstyles. Listen.
Fake highways make me mad. Dentures
outside a mouth make me
mad. Nine times out of ten, I forget what
“mad” means. When I finally run
out of coat hangers, you talk like water
out a sink with the lights off. I get
down off my hind legs.


Lily Duffy recently graduated from Towson University with a B.S. in English and is currently a poetry editor for Mixed Fruit, an online literary magazine. Her poetry has appeared in Glass Mountain.