Boi Casillas, “Holly Roller,” “Tiny Pots $4,” & “Dear Catfish I Killed, the first one I killed Or Ode to Edible Gods.”

Holy Roller

by Boi Casillas

©Gerry Gomez

©Gerry Gomez

It’s Easter. When were always in NE Tennessee
at the white church on the hill where all the streets are named
after my grandmother’s family and a hat maker.
We’re sitting on hard pews and
there’s a bull is in front of the congregation red like shiny sweaty red with
long eyelashes. And my mother lets go of my hand, unlocking my sweaty
baby grasp like something God might do.
She’s off running down the aisle now, locking
eyes with the bull. And leaps
onto his horns, some sharp phallic symbols. And guts herself.
Blood squirting everywhere redder and redder.
You know, and I’m looking around like it’s a dream.
And it is, but it’s not as if it isn’t familiar.

It’s not as if it isn’t in the handbook.

It’s not as if God isn’t a phallic symbol.

Tiny Pots $4

We’re at the greenhouse. The same greenhouse we were at last year and the year before, at the same time of year you get excited about house plants, the same time of year I’m worrying about money. We’re in the cacti section again and it’s the same. I’m staring at the saguaro looking ones all ribbed and phallic in tiny pots, two tablespoons of dirt, 4 dollars. I’m considering buying one. You get so excited about house plants like they’re your babies. House plants. I always kill house-plants. The misty dangling ornamentals the 50 dollar jade plant. I’m looking at the saguaro and we’re in the desert. I can hear the crunch of gravely soil and the whine of their needles combing the knots out of the wind. Their monstrous weight is holding the sand down, keeping the hills from floating up and tethering us there, remember. These tiny pots hardly cast a shadow. We’re not there anymore not the same any more why am I here again? I don’t want anything not even a cheap one not even a cactus not even the saguaro looking one.

Dear Catfish I killed, the first one I killed
Ode to Edible Gods

I wanted you until I caught the back
of your throat until I heard your disciples scream when your
head resisted that chunk of concrete when I
couldn’t bore that big knife blade trough your neck, desperate for the decided end.
Of course, you remember when James used the ax instead.

But you were not decided your bodiless head still yelling at my little hands
calling out with cloudy breaths
I heard the knowing in your voice.
Both of us knowing then, how interrupted we were
you, a brooding god of Red River, a cruel saint
and I soft skinned, trembling but intent.
We watched our metamorphosis together with
eyes like wet stones like dark glass
peeling your skin onto mine
folding like iridescent leather as you sang sarcastic good byes
Dragging your last report from a lungless throat.
The fire cracked then, you remember,

when your headless skinless muscles found the pool of my stomach to
brood in, your body my body. sometimes I hear
you croaking when I sleep, I hear you mumble to yourself
about the season of the Red River, because
a removed god is a resentful god
and how much you resent my heat your cold.
When you wake, I sleep.


Boi Casillas is a mixed-race, gender non-binary, and queer writer. They are hungry to recognize and name the shadows that move us all. They wish to use poetry as alchemy, as a way to create spaces outside of systems of oppression. They attend Madison College in Madison, WI.

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