this is no joke

Winner of the 2018 Jericho Brown Poetry Prize

This piece was first published in Quarto’s 2018 Spring Print Edition.

  Illustration by Cameron Lee

Illustration by Cameron Lee

by Perry Levitch

seriously this is spooky it
worked for me if you
stop here your crush will
fall in love with someone
else and you will be cursed
to eat broth with a fork
it worked for me but
only mostly this is no
joke one time a girl was
walking homeward with
her friends and her name
got in a stranger's
mouth he insisted he was
the one meant to sink
a spork prong-deep in
her she said ok to that I guess
so he did so she turned
into a cutlery rack
for five months which was
a change of pace at least

if you don’t forward this
by midnight to a friend
then your reflection
will always lag
a minute behind
your body if you forward it
to a friend then you will get
on the jumbotron
next game don't
laugh at this if you send it
to five friends please add
your name to the bottom
and pick mostly b’s if you
send it to ten friends
then your kiss will
crush you or rather
your crush will kiss you
tomorrow