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Meet Cute Metamorphoses

Amber Ridenour Walker

Eros got drunk

and lost his pants

when he met Psyche

at a bar, counting

her bingo chips.

she leads him through the alleys

to the center

of the labyrinth

the night a Pyrex bowl

with cracks for stars

she claps her hands three times

but doesn’t break the spell

the stars are 99% performance

and the rest is myth


she notices his eyelashes

in the snow

when she hits him

in the head

with a softball

like an arrow in reverse

he says, It’s just

my head

I never needed it

for this

Psyche plays the keyboard

while he dances in pajamas

in his apartment

limbs unfold like wings

they order sushi

with the names of flowers

cherry blossoms

fizzle in their mouths

his pajamas fall

and become deer

nuzzling green-stubbled trees,

a sudden bright red


breaking ice.


She says, If I fall in love with Love

I could never take myself seriously

what is Psyche without desire

sharpening her arrows?

he says, If I was your boyfriend

I would kill myself

he keeps her kiss inside a napkin

in his wallet

he hates her lovers but he always

lets her in

Eros, without a soul

is just bad poetry


Eros has a mark

made by a sizzle-drop of oil

the jealous birds will hate him

for his beauty

they will want to peck his wings

and steal his songs

Psyche strokes piano keys

to charm the angry aviary

she’s not trying to steal anything

(except, perhaps, her soul)


In her hand,

she can hold a key

pull straight a tie

zip up his jacket

touch the mark

that mars his symmetry

she can march

into his dreams

where they duel with glass bottles

in a hotel lobby

he says, you’re the biggest part

of my problem

she takes her key

and leads him

through the door

into the garden

then awake


Inside the theatre,

they lift plastic glasses

in French, he says

he is the man of cheese

in French, she asks

did he mean to say of wine?

in English, his mother (jealous,

as in all the tales) says he is an idiot

their laughter splashes the walls

the theatre blushes burgundy

the curtain falls

the birds write bad reviews

& every human heart

is a lonesome corkscrew

Amber Ridenour Walker is the author of Surfacing (Free Lines Press) and i thought this would be cooler (Bottlecap Press). Her poetry and prose have appeared in such places as Local Smoke, The Portland Review, 580 Split, Bombay Gin, Leon Literary Review, and Tiny Spoon. She holds an MFA from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and moonlights as a librarian.

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