“Oscar’s Invention” by Anders Carlson-Wee

Anders Carlson-Wee


Fuck no she didn’t leave me over money. 
She left me cause I have no ass. It’s true—
a belt holds on my hips about as good 
as an oiled-up pole dancer. That’s why 
I invented these strapless suspenders. 
Can’t see em, can you? Good, that’s the idea. 
Almost went bankrupt makin the prototype. 
My wife kept sayin What suspenders?— 
you aint wearin nothin. But riddle me this: 
Are my jeans pooled at my feet? I swear, 
bonafide genius dumbfounds belief 
with simplicity. Same goes for the truth. 
Like if I told you my wife left me cause 
I got less milkshake than a garter snake, 
you’d say there’s gotta be more to that story. 
Like what? I go to work one day and come 
back home to no trace of her. No photos. 
No toothbrush. Not even the carrots 
she raised in the garden beds, just holes 
in the earth like buckshot where she plucked em 
free. And of course, she got custody. 
And the house eventually, which, I’ll admit, 
I mortgaged to pay for the patent. 
You think that was the dagger? Here I am 
workin to cure auto-pantsin for the assless 
and she’s fussin over a little loan? Yes or no: 
could I win her back if I doubled down 
and got those silicone implants? Fine, 
shake your head, but I don’t think you respect 
how bad it is when God forgets to blow up 
your balloons. Hell, I’d show you, but these 
suspenders are a bitch to get back into.

from Rattle #78, Winter 2022


Anders Carlson-Wee: “As the son of two Lutheran pastors, I grew up on sermons. I tried hard to not listen, especially during my teen years, but I couldn’t resist a good story: my parents both preach in a personal narrative mode, telling stories of daily human experience as a means to evoke the sacred. This preaching style has had a large impact on my writing style. As for why I write—if I understood that, I don’t think I’d have the drive to spend the energies of my life pursuing it.” (web)

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