Smoke. It’ll linger for weeks.
Bodies blur around the campfire.
Lackluster we sit in states of semi-consciousness.
Someone I don’t really know bums a smoke.
Ashes create new stars that reflect against empty beer cans and a pool of vomit
and I’m trying, I’m trying to find the poetry in men pissing three feet behind me
but you know, sometimes, it’s just not there.
A prepubescent hotshot tries to sit on my lap, steals
a drag of my cigarette,
throwing his arm over my shoulder
like he wields authority in the
extra chromosomes in his DNA
looping around my neck like
the words that drip from drunken sneers like
Y marks the spot
like I’m his like
I should be counting my blessings like he’s divine,
with his manly can of beer and fruity cooler abstinence,
like his shadow is illuminating and now
Well, I refuse lean into the gestures of boys who have fucked themselves into men.
I used to. I used to try to be the sort of picture
you’d be comfortable enough to hold
because when you looked at me I could feel my worth lying in the lines of my face.
Well, I didn’t ask for your judgement.
How can I explain to you that my self worth is not based on my ability to dress
in slick second skins
that stick and slither seductively,
dress as though I’ve got flash bulbs under my skin
that just keep taking your picture?
Smile for the camera.
Maybe you will never discover that your gender stereotypes are only bedtime stories told to you by generations of cowboys and Disney,
laundry detergent ads and Yorkie, Home Depot, lynx/axe, Burger King, BMW, Dr. Pepper, Che Magazine, Skyy Vodka, Arby’s, Cabana Rum, Tommy Gun, Tom Ford for Men, Panera Bread, Chick Fil A, K.F.C., a lot of mainstream t.v. and a large portion of the fast food industry.
Maybe you will never develop a tolerancy for anything besides alcohol.
But I can wait.
When the family money you’ll inherit from your grandparents’ farm is gone, maybe we’ll talk.
When wedlock turns into another divorce, maybe we’ll talk.
When the women you’ve slept with but never been with weigh in your skin like old age, maybe we’ll talk.
But I won’t be holding my words out like offerings anymore.
Instead, I’ll be holding out to you these scraps of paper I’ve written my life on with careful indifference, explaining
that I can’t live within your definitions of ‘woman’ and ‘man’
and that I know you think I’m lesbian because
sometimes my clothes are too baggy
and my hair’s too short
and my dating history is too virgin
I shouldn’t have to explain to you that
I’m just a person
And sometimes, I’m attracted to other people,
And it doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
We are not defined by sex or sexuality.
maybe we are just perceptions - dis
decisions and sense
and a lot of patience;
impermanent like memories,
reflections creating continuity,
made by our misdirections,
this is perfection.