Two poems by J.B. Stone

Ode to Love Handles


when your teeth resemble mangled accordion keys, tendril curls jangled & jumbled

around the top of your skull, the bingo-wing Jello jiggling in your arms when   you 


approach your torso and try to curve your palms slowly across your hips,      shaking 

the atlas of your rump, like an earthquake without the aftermath                 following 


holding  your paunchy flab like the child you never had           but always wanted

embracing the glow of your cellulite, the teddy bear warmth best incubated     around 


the contours of beer-bellied corpulence, the soft dad-bod touch that wraps around you 

like a weighted blanket, except it’s the surface of your own skin: a caress in the   form 

of self-love           when that is so hard to find


To the Statue of Jesus Laying on a Park Bench Between Delaware Avenue & Church Street in Downtown Buffalo

An honest depiction next to the bus stop in a city 

where the sky is always smeared with grey. Beside 

the concourse of a nearby cathedral that taunts each 

patron with its gothic spires, the phallic smugness 

staring down at every faithless denizen. The way the 

stone carved prophet sleeps with a newspaper quilt, 

gravel lips slouched in the vein of a tired deity. The 

bronze-plastered domes top siding the courthouse 

just a few intersections down, the fork between the 

190 South & the 190 North, as cars break city speed 

limits as if this Sunday never deserved to be holy in 

the first place. Sometimes, I would sit next to the statue, 

attempt to ignore the cacophony of traffic horns and 

road-raged fuck yous, barricade the rest of my vision 

from the gilded awnings of various buildings and set 

them to his shuttered clay eyes, confessing to the 

sleeping idol the deepest swell of my desires, the 

darkest confessionals I could not ever confess even 

in this poem. Not for the sake of atonement, just to 

have a set of ears listening, even if they’re inanimate.


J.B. Stone is a neurodivergent/autistic slam poet, writer, and reviewer residing in Buffalo, NY. He is the author of A Place Between Expired Dreams And Renewed Nightmares (Ghost City Press 2018) and INHUMAN ELEGIES (Ghost City Press 2020). He is the Editor-In-Chief/Reviews Editor at Variety Pack. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Peach Mag, [PANK], Frontier Poetry, MoonPark Review, Gravel, and elsewhere.