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Phil Estes

Stay in the kitchen with me.

John Rambo encounters the little bureaucracies

The DMV does not offer commemorative license plates for my Classified Suicide Mission into Afghanistan—only the wars John Wayne reenacted, like Korea. The other people in line hold numbers; like the dead who follow me around and try to speak, but I can't understand their tongues. I like Buddhism all right, but I like sex and justifiable violence too. To open a man like the lotus with an AK-47 to save a village should please all the bodhisattvas who administer the temporary hells. Number Three sits against a wall for her picture. The boy with her opens and closes his mouth but I can't hear him.

Diabolik! (1968)

Josephine, you make me want to split you with my knife, though it's not a big knife more a paring knife. Sorry my kitchen smells like sulfur, like a secret base in a volcano's core even though I've never smelled a volcano. I scramble eggs every morning. Wash the mugs we used for cheap wine in the sink. Let me press your clit like I channel surf with my remote—not that I think of you as a TV, something to masturbate to. When you turn away, I want to prop you on the counter, and project Fellini across your back while I split artichokes. Like the Italian Super Villain in this spy film—he projected laser-shark blueprints across his blonde. She makes love to the hero in piles of lire near the end. Jo, I have only this Formica and cheap wine, so please keep your pants off. Stay in the kitchen with me.

Phil Estes's poems have appeared in Harpur Palate, Hayden's Ferry Review, Lamination Colony, PANK, Willow Springs, and others. His chapbook, Tommy Glorious and The Girls of Wichita, is forthcoming from Mitzvah Chaps. He lives in Stillwater, Oklahoma.