Dear Yellow Hammer,

I heard that ribs are the bone structure you love most. I heard your teeth are for finding the use of limbs. In my palm, pressed to revoke the difference between the used and user, a kiss and the oppression of holding. Intimate and blistered. I heard when you tap your head above and to the left of the human knee the shock warms the thigh like the heat in the coming together of magnets. The dissolving of water. I heard it is impossible to take the head of a hammer in the mouth without touching tongue to face. To be compelled. To rip nails from a wall as if proper force leaves no scar, as if rending tooth from gum.


Ryan Bollenbach is the poetry editor for the Black Warrior Review. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Quarterly West, Booth: A Journal, the Mid-American Review, Knee-Jerk Magazine, and elsewhere. Find him on twitter at @SilentAsIAm.