Poems by Willy Palomo


Fabio, the Fuckboy explains Floating

Definition: a form of outercourse practiced by devout Mormons in a failed attempt to keep the law of
chastity. See also Provo Push and Provo Soak.

   Like most men, I learned to float to prevent
from drowning, from dipping too deep

   & coughing out something brackish from far
inside my gut, limbs flailing, possessed

   by a will fronting like its stronger than death.
Like most men, I cannot walk on water,

   but watch me bellyflop, ripple a ribcage
over pools

   of sweat. Like most men, I struggle. I sink
to where it is near impossible to keep

   from rocking the little boat we call our bones
against the rise & rest of your chest,

   the pull & tide of your thighs. I breathe
& each wet breath makes it harder

   to breathe. If you cannot swim, you do
whatever you can to keep yourself

   from being submerged underwater, where
no prayer is heard, where no one touches you

   without bearing the weight of your throes,
where every kick you thrust only brings

   you closer to succumbing to the numbing
darkness. If you could not swim—

   if you could not swim & you were thrown
against a body

   of water, would you not press me beneath
you until your head breaks the surface,

   until we were both gasping for breath?

Fabio, the Fuckboy explains Soaking

Definition: a form of intercourse practiced by devout Mormons in a failed attempt to keep the law of chastity. See also Provo Push and Floating.
with apologies to Vincenz Priessnitz, an early developer of hydrotherapy

In Gräfenberg, a roebuck bathes a wolf-bitten limb

in pond water as a peasant boy watches from afar,

his finger a pulsating bruise, swelling in a limp fist.

      Alongside the boy, let us marvel at the God-given

      wisdom of even the most lowly creatures, the instinct

      to baptize a wound & heal, the bones’ slow work

of ossifying, erecting the rigid infrastructure of the body.

Alongside the boy, let us partake in the miracle of blood,

the cellular swarm to warm & mend the broken, to flood,

      to clot, to swell the flesh crimson & blue, hues hot

      & sensitive to touch. Wrap our ache in your wet

      gauze. Let us soak until we no longer have words

for this pang. All day we have stood outside watching

tree trunks buckle & crack across the valley. Beneath

an August sun. Between lavender & honeysuckle.

      We are no stronger nor wiser than ancient pines

      surrendering to the mountainside. We are both

      thorn-bitten & bristle-stung, pining for relief,

for a meadow somewhere deep in your Gräfenberg,

a shady spot with a lonely pond where wolves dip

their noses & lap before licking their wounds in the dark.

Tongue Fucking TS Eliot


                Dayaam, the way these suits-n-ties jock-
                      strap you, cupping your words
                like whitey-tighties, you must pop that
                      all pop-tart, fuck they soul almighty
                like ether on a table. Betcha you learnd
                      to move your lips from statuary,
                lips puckered kinda kama sutra, popped
                      your cherry cherry-picking from
                Vedas, your face wrinkly and darth as
                      Vader. You empire, you kingdom,
                you hollow man in my bed, book spread-
                      eagle, eager over my drooling face.
                Your words sound so much better caressed
                      by my lips, if only they came harder.


              you are an old white man   with cracked lips
             read by me—a brown boy    waiting for rain,
                    a book whose spine     so stiff it moaned
                      ached when split     open,
                    thin as hair or legs             open,
                   the wiry pluck of     my voice, cracking
                your fleshy ass, inhaling     and exhaling,
                 hole murmuring     the stories of the lost,
               the secrets of those      who know the pinch
               who know the taste      of scuffed throat,
               of a gagged mouth       who know the exact spot
                 who slid a tongue       where you like it.

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 9.34.17 AM (1)
TrypDyck with a Knife and a Not-Boy

Willy_Palomo (2)Willy Palomo is the son of two undocumented immigrants from El Salvador. He learned poetry from the worlds of hip-hop and slam. In 2016, he was named the runner-up Latin@ Scholar at the Frost Place Conference on Poetry. He is currently working on his MFA in poetry and MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University. He runs the Bloomington Poetry Slam and writes books reviews for Muzzle Magazine. His work is published or is forthcoming in Vinyl, Waxwing, The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States, and more.

Top Image: from “Plain home talk about the human system–the habits of men and women–the cause and prevention of disease–our sexual relations and social natures” (1896) / Archive Book Images / flickr.com

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