Unforgiven-Dean Gessie

I want to tell my wife I love her

with maxillary extraction forceps

yank all those teeth like shorn ewes

in the Song of Solomon

replace them with faux sexy bridges to elder care

I want to whack those singsong scrolls hung

like winking dirty laundry

until all the Hebrew consonants fall

thrust vowels like candle-talk and hugs from

behind into the ghost red vellum of lamb

capillaries still bleating like stigmata

but my clam is a jealous clam

with a foot in the mud and

kidneys, mouth, stomach and anus

not all made for festive performance and ode


I want to tell my wife I love her

with flint and stone

carve a hole in her abdomen

the size of Lake Texococo

retract the steaming guts

navigate a serrated edge to the pumping station

and excavate my heart from her

I want to fricassee offal like an Aztec priest

sniff the adrenal glands like a truffle hog

and polish off the pancreas

like the Memphis King peanut butter bacon on rye

I want to launch my blood debt

into the flaming maw of Smoking Mirror

pounce like a jaguar on the dead-god carrion

at the bottom of the temple

steps and play heartsick next of kin

come to claim my own estranged remains


Or, I could poach synonyms for love

from a boneyard of vertebrates freshly dead

(no one’s more earnest than a serial killer

with his trophies)

engineer my own Anthropocene Creed

from repurposed strands of genocide

all I would need is a news feed algorithm

from Facebook or an animal departures board

from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta and

appetite enough for wife, metaphor and self-loathing


I am absolutely disconsolate

in these moments of death porn immolation

because I have entertained worship

that does not include her

or confectioned zombie climate models

from firestorms of bad faith


it is always the one big loud thing unheard

and unforgiven




Dean Gessie is a Canadian writer who has won multiple international prizes. Most recently, Dean’s short story won first place in the prestigious Half and One Prize in India. Dean also won the Bacopa Literary Review Short Story Contest in Florida and he won second prize (of more than 2000 submissions) in the Short Story Project New Beginnings competition in New York. Additionally, Dean was chosen for inclusion in The Sixty Four Best Poets of 2018 by Black Mountain Press in North Carolina.

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.-André Gide
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