Cluster B

Rennie Ament

Today’s fat as a ham. It’s hot. We walk
past obsolete taxis. Let sunshine
pat our pates. Finish our date with stone
crab legs on paper plates.
Then you send up a trial balloon
by whipping Yuenglings
at seagulls; when, squeezing my arm
you say, Incredibly soft, the arms
of bigger girls. By sitting still
I signal I sit still. My middle name
is Company. Your Christian name
is Company. We’re in business together
and I have all the capital. I have
the human feelings, I have the voice
that goes up and down. You have the grift
of pills you gift to people so they will
like you. Let’s hone in on
the facial recognition software sector.
You just can’t do anything wrong
when I am so nice and the day so edible.

In a World With Bells

Rennie Ament

I’ll grow dry and wilted at the intersection of the past and future: present, they call it, spit-
ing on the floor and ordering whiskey, ordering rum, ordering
gin gimlets for courage to look in
the eyes of a stranger
and cultivate tension. While they do this
I’ll cultivate my own
microbes. Cute protozoan blobs. In blood, in hair. Water bears,
they call them, or moss piglets, less commonly. I’m crying. I am crying.
I am thinking about crying now. I have the intention to cry
with joy. Because I am a house. A home. A field
for a herd of animalesques. And I like being useful. When I’m not useful I cry
of sadness. And those tears are different
at a cellular level. They are thickened to stay on the cheek and get noticed
by someone. Who will do something. Like ring a bell. A good old-fashioned bell you grab
by the neck like a person you love. I am happy just to try
running the zoo between my eyes, though mostly I’m excited to live in a world with bells.

Rennie Ament headshot

Rennie Ament‘s poetry has appeared in West Branch, Minnesota Review, Bat City Review, Sixth Finch and Colorado Review, among others. She is the runner-up for the Erskine J. Poetry Prize from Smartish Pace (2019), winner of the Yellowwood Prize in Poetry from Yalobusha Review (2018), a finalist for the Anzaldúa Poetry Prize from Newfound (2018), and a nominee for both the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets. A recipient of fellowships from the Millay Colony, the Saltonstall Foundation, the New York State Summer Writers Institute and the Vermont Studio Center, she lives in Maine and online at