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Calgary Poetry Magazine: Poetry by Carley Mayson
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Published July 21, 2016

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Blood To Your Butcher

you call me your one and only true orgasm, cut me one more slice of pain
back into you, so easy
write all the right words
syntax, just so, pauses, we’ve yet to go slow
forget the healed wounds, ignore the scars
say you want to taste my thighs, my chest, my neck, I don’t care your mouth
holds daggers
hit my jugular
femoral artery
hurt just enough so I can storm out the door dizzy and seeping
just to return a month later
aching for your cold touch and our fantastic conflicts  
be the weapon to my wounds
I’ll be the blood to your butcher
can smell the smolder from my room
it is calling;
“Good morning, the coffee is ready and all the knives are sterilized”


in my grandparents’ living room
their blue leather couch immaculate
shelves of little German figurines on their mantle
each Hummel handmade and wooden with
post-it notes on the bottom with names
of who in the family will claim them later
a later that makes me want to cradle these
little statues until they come to life

my opa looks at me while I
chatter about my degree
about sonnets and my favorites
his skin, carved and creased
even his ears wrinkle

when I observe the deep
contours of his face I wish
cartography could show me
his 13 year old self hiding from Hitler youth,
bombs falling, the boat to Canada, him on one knee
proposing, his wedding day, a story that makes him blush and then refuse to
more than anything I want to see his
catcher-glove hands holding delicate flowers he
grew as a living

I tell him I love Shakespeare’s sonnet 130
because it’s honest
no one’s eyes are really like the sun or stars
he crinkles a grin saying
“some are, some people’s are”


you show up in a tune I think I’ve forgotten
cymbals in my brain when I see
your picture shimmies above my bed
watch a movie in the score I hear a fifth
remember how you explained why those pop songs stick in our heads
the thirds and fifths
three for the years I was with you
five for the years we still talked

I can still sing the notes
do you still play the trumpet?
vibrating lips on the metal
we created, it was a pattern,
you never wrote lyrics I could never manage melody

we wrote about our apathy toward things others saw beauty in
I counted syllables, you counted tempo

You walked me from the hospital snow slushing
One foot
Two feet
Three feet
my cyclical thoughts that convinced me I was dying were played into a straight
of poetry, of notes

after a five year countdown
you made it out of us
I’m still here
driving to Mount Royal where we played hide and seek, through your old
neighborhood next to the river where we skinny dipped in the summer
and every
I hear on the radio, I hear you saying
“It’s the fifths and thirds Carley, our ears like them…”


Watching the man I want to be with
stitch together leather handcuffs to sell
to his BDSM friends
they’ll go for ninety dollars in “the community”

he manages to master skills without much effort
so many things he can do
I am limited to a few I am perfecting

Watching his hands move up and down
through the bindings I became annoyed
we hadn’t talked about what I’ve accomplished
bragging about ten minute planks for a
smooth stomach, how to bite my sweater sleeve while
my skin sizzles
to go a day on coffee and cigarettes
all seem like sad skills

He carefully burned off the extra wax string
next to him an exacto-knife
my eyes go from flame to blade
and I can think of
only one thing I could do
that he couldn’t


you know me like a hometown that I try to forget I am from
but every inch of my life has a memory
my phone has pictures and videos
a computer filled with little reminders, melodies, souvenirs of where you’ve
been on me,
t-shirts and postcards
I managed move on to another house, other friends

then come Christmas time
you reemerge the same but better
you’ve fucked more so, even though it’s your hands, you know how to use
them in ways I didn’t teach you
we end up in back seat of cars ignoring the coffee we were suppose to chat
I write an “XO” in the steamed window
you go back to your house and fulfill your holiday duties, then return to me
to sleep at my place
we stay up until six
taking breaks in between carving our names in my sheets
to talk about where you’ve been and how I’ve  
stayed sane

when I ramble you say I am so detailed in my telling of stories
when you giggle out terrible jokes I can’t help
but adore them
you haunt me in that way

Carley Mayson is in her last semester at Mount Royal University. She
became passionate about writing at a very young age but it was her second
year of university where she started to learn how to write poetry. Since then
she has been writing constantly. Her first publication was in
Wax Poetry and
Art Magazine
and then in Freefall where she published two poems and was
also short-listed for Freefall's chapbook contest. Her poems tend to be gritty
and autobiographical. She continues to be passionate about learning and
improving her writing and is hoping to be accepted to an MFA program in the
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Poetry by Carley Mayson

Blood to Your Butcher
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