My Boyfriend

by Camille Guthrie

His Exterior

toes like blue glass marbles
nails like wax shavings
feet like those of an elephant
heels like narrow escapes
soles like yellow sponges expanding in water
legs like longitude and latitude
knees like neon headlights
thighs like open desert in a movie
hips like a leaping horse
a belly button like a luminescent watch
pubic hair like frontier instances
a penis like overnight mail
balls large as a boar-hound’s
seminal vesicles like tulip bulbs in a paper bag
testicle muscles like rising chords
an asshole like an undiscovered planet
buttocks like a fleet antelope’s
a sacrum like plein air painting
a back like a chalked sidewalk
a spinal column like a suspension bridge
ribs like a bookcase
a sternum like gum
shoulder blades like kitchen tables
a chest like a stuffed animal
pectorals like floating bars of soap
shoulders like observed facts
arms like lassos
fingers like sparklers
wrist bones like a shipyard
elbows like antidotes
hands like passports
an Adam’s apple like a great circle course
a beard like Whitman’s
a chin like a lichen-splotched rock
ears like a full bathtub
a nose like a birdcage
nostrils like subway tunnels
eyebrows like a captive audience
a birthmark like a stop sign
eyelids like a partial eclipse
eyes like effervescence
optical nerves like an orchid
a forehead like a window display
temples like singing crickets
cheeks like party invitations
jaws like handcuffs
teeth like sweet tea
a tongue like watercolors
a mouth like a silk lampshade
a face like a moving picture
a head like a jar of pennies
a skull like a geode
skin with a black line running down it
epidermis like a wool sweater
whiskers like a street sweeper
and hair like a cloudy day.

His Interior

cerebellum like a coffee grinder
cerebral lobes like a house on fire
cranial membranes like a construction-paper diorama
optical nerves like a developing Polaroid
cerebral fornix like colonial maps
pineal gland like a giant pinecone
circulatory system like cello strings
eardrums like a still life with oranges
forehead like television
backbone like a fiddlehead fern
nerve channels like transatlantic cables
uvula like a propeller
palate like a telegram
saliva like a rotating sprinkler
tonsils like action figures
stomach like professional wrestling
trachea like pirate radio
throat like a bold headline
lungs like plastic bags caught in a tree
heart like a supernova
pulmonary membranes like dirigibles
arteries like rush hour
diaphragm like the sound barrier
liver like a public trial
veins like Japanese characters
spleen like a rogue
bowels like surrealism
guts like an inheritance
small intestine like fake pearls
large intestine like stolen currency
colon like reliable data
rectum like a fade-out
kidneys like a barrier reef
loins like a mowed lawn
renal veins like gossip
sperm glands like lava beds
prostate like a fissure vent
bladder like a fish bowl
abdomen like a leather suitcase
muscles like an assembly line
tendons like pickpockets
ligaments like safety pins
bones like bones
marrow like realism
cartilage like strips of kelp
lymph glands like sentimentality
urine like sugar water
blood like melted crayons
and sperm like flies in amber.

How He Acts

If he laughs, it’s spontaneous combustion
If he mutters, it’s a retreating glacier
If he pouts, he sharpens his horn on stones
If he jumps up and down, its hard to look away
If he scratches himself, it’s with an aspen branch
If he gets angry, he fights with tooth, horn, and heel
If he spits, he fights his own kind
If he blows his nose, it starts a riot
If he sweats, it’s monsoons
If he coughs, it unlocks doors in the next room
If he argues, it’s over lost rituals
If he sighs, it ruffles goldfinch feathers
If he whistles, it’s overheard miles away
If he snores, it’s over nostalgic reveries
If he scowls, spears launch from his eyes
If he snorts, it’s over gilt lion-head spouts
If he shits, it’s historical documents
If he belches, it’s a diary
If he vomits, there’s finger-pointing all around
If he walks, it’s Chaplin
If he writes, it’s manifestos
If he goes shopping, it’s for lentils and peas
If he dances, it’s the Rites of Spring
If he swears, he’s a ryght cruell beast
If he drives, it’s among the Mountains of the Moon
If he bathes, it’s in deceptive surfaces
If he dresses, it’s a white linen suit
If he wonders, it’s if his own reflection
If he’s jealous, it’s of birthday parties
If he lies, it’s about mathematical errors
If he spends money, it’s on magic lanterns
If he goes to the movies, it’s Vertigo
If he listens to music, it’s the sound of running water
If he falls, it’s down a slope of turf into the bushes
If he recites, it’s from the Beast Epic of Alexandria
If he is seduced, it’s a river of electricity
If he is curious, he attempts to draw
If he calls, it’s about weather patterns
If he sings, it’s ‘Tyger, Tyger’
and if he escapes, he’s swift of foot.