breathe… some reddish dolphins (these bare feet busted),
tore through my capezios, unmoisturized, they join
your pilgrim black boot—oh my mammal…
the wide weekend’s long disclosure of drugs drawn
precious, depressed, high-function high anxious: 2018
gifts us fed dossiers on our stupendous thumbs-down needs.
you need therapy. i need money. we ditch our brains
unable to shred the fog of futures where civics, passion,
paycheck, and pleasure meet. two hours ago, we ran late through slashing
rain on Smith, tumbling you, your sister, (family) in the uber xl backseat,
helped me paste a glittering red AMERICA on my toilet paper sash.
we made it. early at bushwig, barely attended, i exploded the bouquet,
rolled nakedly on stage. i didn’t expect to make 14 dollars cash,
crumpled. i took mushrooms. time unclenched. i found you! sipping rosé
backbar, i was so happy. joy was flapping its wings in the dustbath!
you said i didn’t seem different but by then i could no longer bear violence,
however simulated. i wanted only to see soft things: your empath
friend, Our Lady of Paradise, gives guided meditations, undoing some violence
in synchrony, she sings under the megawatts of her holographic leotard:
new songs about her gender dysphoria.
my smile pancakes beyond the edges of my cuisinart
face “she’s so greeeaaaat” i say stretching like an accordion.
but, how useful are words now? by then i had lost the white pearls
glued on my décolleté—they dropped far like seeds from a seagull’s asshole.
thinking about a feeling is like photocopying a feeling. that scanning light is safe.
i brag my brain is fearless, yet i wear my heart smeared across my face.
waiting for the all-gender bathrooms with you, i just wanted to sit and melt
like kerrygold into your fur coat. you said it was real. i knew that. i felt it.
Excerpted from Togetherness by Wo Chan. Copyright © 2022. Available from Nightboat Books.