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Home / Issue 34 / we think this world is ours

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

to blossom.


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

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