Closer and Closer to Being Our Own

by Matt Hart

bank robbers     All the world’s wealth
is out of our hands, but somehow
we keep spending it anyway     I drive
the getaway     You supply the hockey
masks     We don’t use knives or guns
or bombs     We make love
from common things     Desk drawers
petunia bulbs, dry fettuccini noodles
We tell the tellers we are shadows,
and they know we want the bills
so small they can only be seen
under a microscope     We want
our heads on our necks to sprout
wings     “And nobody gets hurt,”
we tell the banks’ customers
so they open their arms and embrace us
with kisses—big beautiful rhinoceros ones
When we are fully withdrawn, we are
no good to anybody, not even each other
We take our green and split     it
three ways—a third for you, a third
for me, and the rest we invest
in the hedges, which is serious
This is for the children at the table
eating peas     Everything
we’ve stolen we’ve stolen from you
for you     Our stash of mustaches
A sweet gold Impala     And several units
of plasma we donated ourselves to steal back
for ourselves     Zoinks and Blam
Ka-Blooey and Pow     You thought
we were gone, and now we are
It’s official     Nobody move,
and we won’t either     Tomorrow
we’ll take out a loan and get to work
Banana splits for everyone     We’re rich

Matt Hart is the author of nine books of poems, including most recently Everything Breaking/for Good (YesYes Books, 2019) and The Obliterations (Pickpocket Books, 2019). Additionally, his poems, reviews, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous print and online journals, including The Academy of American Poets online, Big BellCincinnati ReviewColumbia Poetry Review, Harvard ReviewjubilatKenyon Review online, Lungfull!Mississippi ReviewPOETRY, and Waxwing, among others. His awards include a Pushcart Prize, a 2013 individual artist grant from The Shifting Foundation, and fellowships from both the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. A co-founder and the editor-in-chief of Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking & Light Industrial Safety, he lives in Cincinnati where he teaches at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and plays in the band NEVERNEW,

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