i, too, have loved a queer body too brightly to see them husk me until it happened. have opened up the internet to escape and seen their virality spake psalm out of my friends’ mouths. have closed my eyes and wondered if this was worth a stranger’s jealousy. to wake up next to them and tell my friends what they look like. to mistake a naked swath of skin for vulnerability. to call it that anyway, even when their mouth scabbed and their hands twisted inside of me as though playing an un-tuned instrument. i, too, have spit all the teeth out of an ex-lover’s name and felt guilty for the blood of it. sometimes, when i hate myself the most, i wonder who will love the faggots if we can’t even love ourselves. and maybe it is my fault. for expecting someone to partake in me and not come away writhed and wounded. for finding someone whose gender mirrors mine like we wouldn’t shatter getting that close. o, god of fast music and neck muscles, show me a queer intimacy that does not end in a dawn that dreads what new bruises it will expose. give me a community that does not sing in octaves made of knives and other poignant garbage. sometimes, when i mourn the death of trust, i feel selfish in my ability to weep over something that is not actually a body. how many times will i get to hate an ex before they die and/or are killed, and then what? do i mourn for the loss of one less person to slander me? do i pity the dirt they will sink into for their contamination of it? do i praise the maggots that will eat their heart, and the obvious metaphor of a thing that once flustered against my hand now cooling from a hate-crime? am i, perhaps, a piece of shit, for imagining a funeral notice i do not even open before throwing out? o, god of first-dates and subsequent road-trips, please stop letting me be broken by people that have also been broken by someone like me. please stop giving me lovers so similar that we become reflections and stop seeing the difference. please please o god of queer idols, stop just fucking stop. there are so few songs we can sing in which we do not have to change the pronouns or mutter them under the baseline. o, god of shy violences, do you think if we told the not-faggots that the faggots also too barrel into us like car-crashes they will stop following us around parking-lots? i, too, have been grinded up against in the mostly-dark and felt my breath stop and still wished for them to leave tonight alive. i, too, have seen a friend swollen with a new abuse and wondered if i blessed their perpetrator’s belly with a bullet, if we are both trans and just pre-dead anyway, would the headline dead-name it a suicide?
Linette Reeman (they/them pronouns) is an Aries from the Jersey Shore, so they’re not sure what you mean by ‘speed limit.’ Their work appears in Blueshift Journal, Maps for Teeth, FreezeRay, Public Pool, and others, they are a multiple Pushcart Prize, Bettering American Poetry, and Best of the Net nominee, and have performed at venues like Busboys & Poets and the Bowery Poetry Club. Currently, Linette is attempting to survive in small-town America. // LINETTEREEMAN.NET