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Someone asked me what life as a queer person is like and I told them

tomorrow is not a promise

but a threat rolled into a joint

whose paper has been worn

away by fingers that don’t own us

but will set us on fire anyway

as though burning is all a faggot

is good for—becoming a blackness

that can be ground underfoot

and forgotten, becoming smoke

and touching lungs that never

should have held us down, but

choosing, in the end, to become

the change we wished to see

in that person, or maybe just

returning to lips that never

should have swallowed us,

and vanishing.

This poem was a finalist in the Prometheus Unbound Poetry Prize and was published in Prometheus Dreaming, 2022


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