I was throwing shade at cishet stain on florid 

waxing, dressing deeply like a coastal shelf—

troubling, pulling dark strings, plucking 

they surrender the notes of dogs this month. 

I was melancholy. It was morning. It was formed-you-fucking-

asshole in the fanny pack—the base of the glans, 

the whole thing was pretty formative for me. It was a perfect 

shitty instance of itself being formed, and being staining, 

the simulation sprawling further into my life, exactly as it did. Still does.

Life demands an iron rule, so I give it. I was noshing 

chi with Wen saying firstly how her sister oughtn’t wed in Marfa, 

always marry near an ocean. You plan and plan but it’ll fall apart.

Not the ocean. That’ll stay. Everyone feels alift toward all that water. 

Then you’ve got the wedding you can send the lift right down 

into that. Harness the pleasure chill, you small prowler. In Marfa what 

is there. There is nothing there in Marfa. So you have to 

lift a lift itself from all that earth. It doesn’t make itself out there.

I’m made in here where Milo (dressed as Mr. Jokes) insists my liking

derives from the desirous object’s similarity to a protracted death sequence,

a sequence I am, a death I’m wanting, a relief in stapling whatever 

to a practiced absurd, now allowably academic, now spoken aloud.

Like I’m waiting patiently to be likened. Like I inferred a deadpan

paler maleness from the anime Marxists before twitter

inculcated them into the flow, back when I was Shankill, crouching

on a white-lined chair which looked as though it had borne waves 

of semen crawling up from every leghole. But it was only epsom salts, 

a tidal slop over the edge of the cauldron used to hold the mixture, held

to treat my chronic wound I had a decade along a few seams in my foot.

I was bleeding the whole way through my aughties, it exited

the bottom of my body, far below the split. Not semen. The Master

too fastidious for that, the alcoholic desperately dusting while

Adult Swim sank coyote yelps in a glaze of humor meant for strangers.

The latter-day straight-edge insistently posting guarantees the fuelmeister

behind the persona will never be a mayor, but that was chickenscratched

a couple years before, when Hattie said the one unattainable was a government

position. On account of I’m too feminine, the populace would never bite.

So instead I wound the paler this in privacy, paddling backchannels where

strangers, internet, catalyzed by my confession of a relaxed participation

either beg my counsel or swear, with perfect grammar, that they’ll kill me, 

then abrade my thighs. They threaten what I do. They know they do so, I am sure.

They’re sure they’re saying what I’ve done. They’re sure to do so. I swell up

my new blue tag until it bulges over into scheduling, so soon I’m emailing

would-be bosses like a flirty fuckboi, swinging key parties for the fences, flying

without clearance. It goes on. Like soon I’ll just be traipsing through the dunes

exactly as I feared, swearing limesalt’s boutique thirst; 

fun at parties; swishing partly ‘cause it’s trill; slaloming

nothing; swaddling nowhere; seeing if I work when dragged.

Eventually, once I’ve gibbering resolved, you can come

and find me there. Put some wet lips on my brow, dude,

please touch every section that strikes you as weird,

and with my variations sufficiently reviewed I’ll be 

back in just a mo, optimized for her enjoyment. Then

we can begin.









Cool, leave me here. Last june 

there was a torrent in Poughkeepsie,

prebandaged wrist lays force to

the skinned surface, oiled mud,

a slick of purples concentrics, lazy shape.

This spring my body lengthens,

another snake of roiled clay

crying soups for friends whose arcs

around the gutter hemorrhage 

momentum. I bleed faith, an SAT prompt

of responses apropos

in their calculation of thermal laws.

This june my body seizes and contracts,

a remarkable force potentiates in a rewound

band. No less a lengthening.

Heat and leave me here. 

I say it because you’re going to

another pizza place on 

Cerrillos. Another vinyl booth. Another

story. Know me with the same pieces

I’ve been known before. 

Say you know me differently.

Let’s say you know.



Like the orpheatic Boo, my medallions

of personal response come fanged

when I engage with any other.

I’ve only one direction,

I can’t parcel out my firm feelings to everyone. To Henry. 

Hen. Mom evolved my turn if I’d kiss you

on the forehead. Remember? There was no

escaping your skin, its talcum salinity

humbled curved flavor like a lactose palate,

retreating follicles left alone—

a longer pubescent display, but I did so

for de_dust2.

I imagined my canines imprinting your temples

the beginnings of a crush?

That moment a Bloom slammed

the door open to rebound against

the rubber stopper, emerged holding

a blossom of the network, novel

system (we) like electricity distribution

from inner orbit, long

constituted of lights webbing Pitch Dark trucking unions,

now expanded to points

of greater salient darkness,

not just as negation.

From the other side it’s how

the paper towels darken

except pale spots persisting

reveal a crust, a powder,

or elevation the eye hadn’t thought to detect.

Then darknesses gel differently

the sugar distribution, clotting,

hemoglobins of buzzbird

lightning bugs shuttering the trough

in aspens show

different as-yet-sobs—

your different fontanelles

my different tongues

my turn.



Fuck your pithy plotholes shared and tittered

like Rose herself hadn’t thought

the door was big enough for two as Jack

receded baroque flutter

of perfect dye-job into the later film, A.I.,

where he came on an angel.

Came as an angel. Can I when

Bey’s a cappella one & one breaks me

beastly boy I’m completely ruined.

I’m Steve Reich’s architecture

a Weimar sense of sense, vying for control

a populist frisson to carry

one arc through to its decay where

it’ll hail better as an olden calf sans G.

Sylvanas, beg: “What are we if not slaves to this torment?

What joy is there in this curse?”

The object of the answer is the product

of the same process as begat the answer itself:

Scrimshaw, burnished by caresses

like a paperweight.

The object a sadness carved to approximate


the answer a form sculptor saw hidden

in a block of fecklessness,

or even if he didn’t, he made one.

I held one. I hung me. I’m here.

I’m humming our song (whatever that will be),

Facelessing sisters for sating,

cousins for arguments about the pride.

I’ve become the shape I thought

my satellite was carving—

a simple circle

sexless, chill. Abide, abaddon,

drop the ocean, please come back.




GIL LAWSON is from Santa Fe, NM. His writing has been published by (or is forthcoming from) n+1Triple CanopyMetazen,Hypocrite ReadertheNewerYork, and others. He received the Bard College Written Arts Prize in May of 2013, and currently works as a travel editor at TripExpert.