God has no place in this pyre,
this combustible funeral scene,
surrounded by empty, leaky sockets
from inside frozen, waxen faces.
We are crying together, aware
by some third eye or premonition
that this is the last time for forever
we will manifest as a phantom pain,
as one sobbing mass, the leftovers
of our supposed trespasses, trauma
bonded at the hip and the heart,
wholly alone; some worn-out queers
confusing obligation for fate,
reading loosely formed fortunes.
This is more than a music box,
more than a key shaped USB,
and more than a video game.
This is flittering fantasy wings
carrying you and I skyward,
harps playing Type O Negative.
This is a marriage imagined,
a cardboard bowling pin, a piñata
I have since punched a hole through,
and it bursts with wishes, revelations,
an end, a poem never read, a Christmas
present that has long since passed.
The gut is a cavern, a space
opera in an amphitheater, its stars
flicker dimly, illuminate an audience
of crumbs and empty wrappers.
This is high art, drama played
out by experts in physical
performance, Grotowski made
gluttonous, poor no more.
This stage only runs on matinees
and the curtain never closes,
ensuring a lethargic audience
and overworked players,
all with wide, dinner plate eyes,
watching on, ready for the rest.
There are no homes where I am safe
from my own jawline. With every word
I highlight a sharp turn toward
a presumed masculine edge.
I twirl a tuft of hair which plumes
from my thighs, pull them taut,
then release, watch them cling
to my side as a reminder
that the Frankenstein’s monster
I want to make of myself
is at odds with the idea of a living
death, though death alone will do.
I feel as though another name
is calling from the center of my chest,
though my mind may assume that
is a joke I’ll make strangers tell me.
We are all fine, all at once;
bright, lively, not life-
like. This is real. We are not
faking this homely glow, this
perfect paper lantern
we’ve built, though it floats
away at the sign of dusk.
This is true. We are only ever
lightning bugs in daylight.
Our eyes flit and flutter,
becoming a hive mind through separate bees.
We are kept, we are one, as men
run their fingers through our combs.
Neither them nor bears frighten us.
We shake their hands full of honey.
We are the swarm, the buzz
beneath their surface, and each other’s queens.
Fly catches the Q Train,
but before that,
underneath a honey bourbon sky,
he spies a girl on the way to spin class.
She asks for cab fare.
Bye bye, lady.
Fly catches the M Train,
and he washes a tomato
with a Coca-Cola soaked rag
torn from his shirt.
He takes a bite,
and seed spills on his pants.
Fly catches the F Train,
and after that he rushes
to embrace a woman
solving a jigsaw puzzle
on a scattered cross street.
And Fly always catches the 6 train,
just in the nick of time,
but at the last stop
his now clipped wings
cannot carry him home
the rest of the way
to wherever he came from
when once they spread.
A creek runs through Mint Hill,
through the heart of my home,
across my bedroom floor,
down the stairs,
and over the tile of our Ikea themed kitchen.
A creek runs through Mint Hill,
and the water flows with algae, crawdads,
wooden boats, baseballs,
piss, fecal matter,
and my friends,
and as we float on
we catch the sunlit eyes
of a disapproving aunt
watching as we swim by.
A creek runs through Mint Hill
and it ran red in July
when I hopped a fence
in a single bound,
only for a picket to catch my t-shirt
and graze the small of my back
these occurrences became lessons in regeneration,
in which I taught myself
to grow a second backbone
when my sides split open
and bite my tongue
till I’ve chipped my teeth.
The creek has now dried
but I am still sopping wet.
a baby girl
baptized at birth
in boiling bathwater.
I always ran home the long way
and locked myself in time sleep
within the bedroom closet
where I forgot how to breathe.
That vacuum of that house,
on the days where I was conscious,
could seem wholly, awfully beautiful.
especially amongst the call of warblers
from where a creek once ran through Mint Hill.
You are breaking out in hives across
your jaw. You are going to see the allergist
today. They are going to patch you up, plug you up with
sesame seeds and apricots and dogs and cats and vodka
and clove and a cup of coffee. They split you in half while I leave
to teach myself a better way to say, “I can not wait to see you tonight.”
Breathe, star child; we will leave Jupiter
this gaseous coagula, and migrate to Brighton
like poisoned pigeons who have quit carrying
the souls of those that smear dysphoria blue
across epileptic bodies. Planted in a soil of worms
this place creeps in gardens of boys and girls,
mildewy, an acidic mass seduction, a juicery
that only blends strawberry. This was our honeymoon suite.
Cry love; it’s okay. Every drop is a kick in their teeth,
an angelic shattering. Their tongues are running down their throats.