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by Kay Gabriel

Self-portrait as a Karen



Or, you know. In my Sybil Vane. 

I made great plans to be bratty all week 

but at least a divorcée in a whatever 

apartment where I have already let 

the coffee burn for myself to clean 

after a change of mask and costume, 

a salon confessional, a CfP. There’d have been 

gloves and buttons involved 

piles of shirts to come on 

spontaneous or world-historical underboob 

no teaching and minimal committee work 

I mean it like a flood alert. 

A paragon, like 

I’d fuck me.

wide from this ledge 

I’ve read all the wrong guys 

my prose isn’t muscular even in 

the flat or angled places where 

you’d build a shelf which you say 

is the nearest practice for writing you know next to 

looking at Rothko 

some months before you 

jerked off in the bathroom of 

the Acropolis Museum thinking about 

I guess a Caryatid 

or the burly kid pouring coffee, like 

crying when you see a good 

Rothko or dodging the right kind of traffic on a fifth date 

say I know my Tom of Finland 

too and that wasn’t even the first bathroom 

well salut to your gay connecticut cabin though 

maybe when you’re done up there we 

can watch mascs with pillowy thighs do all 

kinds of droll unshorn play and I’ll tenderly 

finish off your taxes

Kay Gabriel is the author of Elegy Department Spring (BOAAT Press, 2017) and, with David W. Pritchard, Impropria Persona (Damask Press, 2017). She co-edits Vetch ( Find her provocations on twitter at @unit01barbie.

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