Chapter one is when he’s asleep in the back of any car at this point, destination determined and reception questionable but path mapped out, at least what we say mapped out is because we have bird breaths. The wind is the kind of colder where you say we can taste it on our tongues so we sugar drown it out and laugh like this is nothing to us. To us ten days are ten years are ten lives meeting once again; I have all our black and whites pressed on my walls so remind me these are days we will wish for on cake candles thirty years from now and thirty years from then we’ll wish for candles at all. The only mistake I could ever make was not loving you hard enough with tender enough touches.
My pelvis is a metric meter for the electrical impulses we radiate. Such a cacophony of stomach flutterbies and dry mouth sockets, so ignore these sweaty palms and imagine the moisture I retain (we can make it rain in a Logan Square bedroom at five in the morning). I want to wake up wherever you are, I don’t want these cheap grocery store vending machine rings anymore, I want to go to sleep without the hum of wondering whose bed you’re in however selfish that may be. I want to kiss your eyelids free of every– I want to stop talking like I know that words mean something. What means something is waiting room visits and your hand rotating between my shoulder blades when up-a-lung nights seem longer and when in the middle of fucking you stop and say you’re just glad to be here. I don’t need sleep.
Creation Story: I have never felt bones in this body before so tell me what it means that she used to be the space between needle and skin but now she’s not here anymore after apple picking, and you’ll see years ago she stopped sleeping and he was awoken so I sit for phone calls with god-has-a-plan’s, does your god have a plan, give me bullet points on death laying his hand on my brother’s lips and making him dry like these eyes; tell me of your plan. I am not as bitter as these bylines choke out but as I wrote this down I threw up bile.
The Book of Queer: I think of wasted worship to secure afterlife virgins while we sit in our filth, sardined and betraying bodies. Why does she carry this cloth with my weeping face, when my body has been stolen from me long ago and the tomb has no guards. Pick up fire swords, dive into banishment, I would rather be a fighter than follow your false infallibles.
Patron Saints and Petitions: God bless them with their fingers in their throats and scars on their sides and booze in their bellies, this is my religion.When I took too many pills and he put palms on me all afternoon, that is my god, and when they stoned me and slurred dyke he put his body on a cross, and that is the second coming of the son, and when we decide to wake up as an act of resistance that is our holy spirit.
Commandments: The only kneeling I have left in me is to pick up bodies as they second-sound hit the ground, and to praise her like she is an alter.
Resurrection: They sacrifice lambs like me but in three days we will be lions. They put soot on their faces to mourn how unholy we grew to be, outside of the garden. Cutting off hair only works before I destroy your temple.
Preachers: I don’t want my siblings on a pedestal, I want them on a fucking pulpit. (Even if it’s made of brimstone.)
Thou shalt: My mother told me to lie about cannibalism at twelve and carnal consortium at nineteen but I cannot continue on; my teeth are confessionals. I may not dismantle the master’s house of prayer with the words they taught me in Sunday school back rooms but I can sure make a racket while the doors are locked. Let some sort of father figure up there hear because the one down here on earth isn’t omnipotent and thinks I’m a liar. He doesn’t know I am all plasma and Palm Sunday pushpins, he doesn’t know these rosary wrists carry my child’s hymnals.
Reckoning: They gave up sanctity when my sisters and brothers died in the streets like lepers. They should be washing our feet with their hair. When I am standing over you, you will know the power of coming down off a crucifix and spitting in stab wounds. We are in limbo, and we will give you the hell you asked for.
Self examination is so critical so I want your adverbs to look me in the eye when they label someone else’s hands as the ones you hold, that you’d do anything for love before you give up searching for the victims, how she’s not the one you gave your forever to years ago and I told you I keep my promises and yours would be kept like severed limbs in jars, curio cabinet curiosities and casualties, cures for the common left behinds. It’s less now about nine tenths of law and more about preventing further casualties and stock yard I told you so’s, so tell those other mannequin limbs they’re already bound to a bed. When I get to hell I’ll make amends for our current lack of attachment, telling your father about the wounds I cauterized with words like love and forever, and how you said this could work another day but there’s no way to change fair weather fiances into swans. Pinky promises rendered split like tree-trunk-lightning-bolt-love mean disarmament and dismemberment, we always said, so we gambled on arms and legs; cash in my prizes, please, blindfolded male eyes. Re-entomb me in this womb I sewed around your specter, sterilizing those warrior wounds carved into shoulder curves to feel again. I will feel again.
Keep me screened in aqua greens, I will keep delivering stand up sit down put out push up lines. We only promise we want to grow old so you can go first, and with that I’m fine. I still save your love notes like legal tender and you will always say you miss me. This will always be more than enough. I said yes.
You have your toothbrush and I have mine; sleep soundly next to the wall one more night. Moon landings are tiny miracles. If it ain’t broke don’t break it. Hey. You make me happy.
1. It is too warm for this sweater and it scratches my left arm in this window seat. I am unsure where this boisterous boy comes from, bravado is an empty suitcase by my side. I leave first to avoid run-ins and cigarette-length conversations. We are immediate.
2. If you were dark and evergreen like the pacific northwest, would you ever grow up?
3. I keep the closest things to me in picture frames, pinned down like bodies never were, like lies we still tell ourselves to survive.
4. I deceive, I contain, if I break apart the jagged edges show. Keep me steady on a rotten sea, diamonds in gray water, mud puppies and translucent guppies, let’s pretend you’re porcelain. Let the light be the only one we’re touching.
5. And then we will know if this is what we wanted.