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xtian w


it’s me again, come clean. i hid behind brown whiskers, whiskey & shame,

cloistered in girlfriend’s closets from country folk who’d clock me faggot

out F-150s, hang your head Tom Dooley stuck in their teeth. Camouflage

& excess, white lines & booze—everything inside me cardinals, prunes,

pulls a rosin gut drone to recollect. i say remember baby, your first dress?

Pink & pretty with blue lattice & curls, looking all Christina

from Christina’s World, high country Carolina.    It was easy getting drunk

in leotard, laughing. Easy spending summer among laurel, forgetting

Laurie Foster, dead femmes drowned & raised americana.

More difficult to untwist the thorn, tongue jelly & cauterize,

divest from fear within. Could i ever be one of them—like that

womxn i’d pass on King St., 14 eyed Docs & stubble chin,

rouge lips & black dress buying goth CDs on weekends?

       Not exactly—also yes.

Here i am, soldered together with Marlboro kisses, Vintage Seltzer

sober in floral print, alter for rhododendron & metro rat—swap

Brown Mountain for cherry tips, Maria Hernandez & chosen fam

bound deep as Hodges Gap.    Appalachia,

i paint my eyelids bluer than blue ridges so neither of us gotta look far

to find. If you see me out your window, i’m every name you spit—

friend, sister, brother, fag—clad shameless in Queen Anne’s lace.

Find me staring up Bed-Stuy beeches, a bit of my heart back on Beacon

with the scrappy mountain ash. Lonely town,

i can smile now, remembering that first gxrl i knew—

warm at home & listening to The Cure. i dream a queer bar

for every hollow, karaoke & Dolly & truck sluts singing off key,

dream highways safe for walking, ballads & barn quilts & string figures

claiming joy. i dream we dredge rivers and find no womxn there.

xtian w author photo.JPG

xtian w is a genderqueer poet & poetry bottom cruising datura blooms & painting their nails in Brooklyn.


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