we think this world is ours
By Jo Reyes Boitel
I go straight from work to a benefit party. The invited are asked
to arrive in vintage queer thrift store realness. I am not prepared,
but there is a vendor and I walk away with an 80s old man tie –
yellow and blue striped wide bottomed satiny polyester.
I’m a travesty but my lipstick is on point.
It is a catwalk through the gallery, to the raffle table, and into the backyard
for a seat at the drag show. The kings have sensible shoes
but the queens are struggling with their heels in the moist soil.
There are so many here and I don’t think I know any of them. Young queers.
It’s a Tuesday and my friends, coupled at home and making dinner,
recount their workdays in the comfort of a television’s glow.
I am relieved
and thankful when one of the queens adjusts my tie,
kisses me on the cheek. It is a kindness.
It could sustain me for weeks.
Plants prepare themselves for dormancy.
They have learned to not depend on us.
Blooms are a signal of urgency,
a desperate hope
their story will continue
despite the approaching cold.
At home, someone who is no longer a lover, never a friend,
who still sits on the couch, contemplating our chances.
Doe eyes look up when I unlock the door.
They want to know but will not ask
why I’ve come back so late,
and with an ill-knotted tie
and shimmer on my face.
And without reason,
something within us
admires the other’s attempt
Pain will not fade, it will insist on its desperate call.
and we will cut at the beauty of this dying thing,
hold its arrangement of last breaths,
denying we too will disappear