ISSUE THIRTEEN | FALL 2019
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 is a genderqueer poet & poetry bottom cruising datura blooms & painting their nails in Brooklyn.
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