7.12 / Queer Three


listen to this poem

Say you have a daughter who’s a junior in high school. Say she is head
of the homecoming committee making floats. Say they decide on a float
where the school mascot, the Pioneer, shoots their rivals the Wolves.
Say she tells you she needs several colors of crepe. Say you promise
to pick it up. Say before making the Party City parking lot, you drive twenty-eight miles over the state line.

No need to be careful about rumpling your clothes because your wife works swing.
You have hours to be here.

Dinner’s late, lately come to this, the kiss starting at the door. Two figures in bed :
sliced white bread : two slices of toast spread with raspberry jam.

Say you tie me to my bed with your neckties, the ones
you’ve been given for Easter : for anniversaries.
The ones you no longer wear.
Right hand canary yellow.
Left foot red.

Would it bother you to sleep with men so young if you’d had sons?

The school’s colors are royal blue and gold.

my lancet: my little numb
my lead vest of want.

Together, let’s unbox and build scale models of defeat.

The last wolf seen in the county
was killed by a local resident in 1928.

Say you love to watch me lost in how you paint me with your tongue.
Say you love to watch yourself enter the first time and the next and the next.
Say you love to watch me watch you when you shove your fingers in my mouth.

Let me pluck your feathers one
by one. I’ll wear the green ones in my
hat. Let me pose you naked room by room.

Tell me of the others, the ones
you fuck in hotel rooms, the ones
who suck you off in your Camry
because they can’t explain
you in their dorm rooms : to their friends.

Say your daughter tells you, for a ’90s retro feel,
the homecoming dance will be decked out
in silver and teal.

The roles we play : the roleplay.
Home invasion when you strike my face,
grab my hair, shove me to the floor
and stick your gun in my mouth.

The ways we part: the lips : like ships. How you slip and share small details
of your day, the way she calls you and tells to buy one more item.

Every weekend’s strictly family time.

My suture : my tender stitch
my newly human shield.

Jory M. Mickelson's work appeared or is forthcoming in The Adirondack Review, The Cossack Review, Knockout, Assaracus, New Mexico Poetry Review, and other journals. He won a 2011 Academy of American Poets Prize and his chapbook Slow Depth was published in 2012 by New Sins Press. He lives in Idaho.
7.12 / Queer Three