HUSBAND MATERIAL

if we were married i would keep

all of your secrets on the tip of the

longest knife in our house. i'd slide

them surreptitiously into our food

, bake them into cakes to send home

with guests. i would like to be complicit.

it is whispered that when a secret is 

consumed it is absolved. that's an old secret.

i might tap mine gently against your cheek,

late with the lights out & too hot to sleep.

the right recipe remains elusive, or nothing’s

sharp enough to cut my confession clean.

i am trying to be husband material. i am

not yet ready to be absolved, but i am yielding,

practicing erosion against a whetstone.

you'll know when it's time; i'll descend

the stairs like a kid again, sweeten your tea

with a hushed tone, reach for the longest knife.

Liam Burke (he/him/himbo) lives in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe land. He is most recently the co-author of 'machine dreams' with natalie hanna (collusion books, 2021) and ‘Orbital Cultivation’ with Manahil Bandukwala (collusion books, forthcoming). His work has most recently appeared in the Daily Drunk, Savant-Garde, the Jupiter Review, and long con magazine, and is forthcoming in Sledgehammer Lit.