Tanner, the natural kind

This poem is not for a sensitive audience

the natural kind

the landlady’s son has a gut
that reaches out like a shelf. it juts out
like that pink slime in Ghostbusters 2 did
when it was grabbing someone, remember that?

you shut the door on him
and you hear it SLAP his gut.
you go over to the window – look down at the street –

the door doesn’t have a lock on it for god’s sake
and the landlady’s son opens it slowly,
his gut calmly presenting itself to the room
as you’re sitting on the windowsill – opening the window –
the landlady’s son’s gut waits patiently
as you ask who put that spiked fence down there?
and you turn to the gut looking for answers
but it has questions of its own, and it reaches out for them
like that pink slime in Ghostbusters 2 did.
his fucking Man United FC top rides up, exposing flesh
as pink as that pink slime in Ghostbusters 2 was.

only the fence has answers:
its spikes glittering like shark teeth down there,
as the landlady’s son’s gut
grabs you like that pink slime in Ghostbusters 2 did:
and it coats you, his pink slimy gut.
like you needed supernatural hate
with all the natural hate dripping about the place.
like that slime.

mate, I don’t give a shit about football
but I still fucking hate Man United, you know?

Tanner has been earning minimum wage, and writing about it, for too long. He was shortlisted for the Erbacce Press 2020 Poetry Prize. His latest collection, Shop Talk: Poems for Shop Workers is published by Penniless Press.

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