« Lindsay Coleman | Contents | Emily Brandt »

Ryan Collins

What Doesn’t Kill You                                    



What doesn’t kill you makes you angry

& who likes you when you’re angry

Besides maybe your mother?  Who asks


A rage monster out for a drink except

Maybe your arch nemesis & his anger

Tapping its alligator toe against the brass


Rail of the bar, the bar which eats you

If you don’t eat it first?  What doesn’t kill

You makes you weather-resistant, ready


For what will eventually kill you, for when

The reaper collects your New American

Bones & your future empties itself into


The last second of light you will be spared.



What Kills You                       



What you need requires no credit check,

Cannot be pre-approved, cannot be

Built in a day.  What you need will not


Fit in your shallow New American pockets,

High & tight, close to the family jewels,

If your family is fortunate enough to have


Jewels to hand-me-down, to over-value

& understate, to emit a high frequency

Whine only cats & canines scatter toward.




What you need you share with all the people 

You will never meet, never share a meal or

A moment with.  You will not survive long


Enough to count every last American hair  

On your head.  What doesn’t kill you kills 

You.  Don’t fear the reaper.  Call him collect.





















« Lindsay Coleman | Contents | Emily Brandt »