From The Poet to / a Young Faggot, Some Haikus / Or “Who You Really Is.”
i. How quick do you burn?
Be kindling, or flame, or ash,
when sweat is ember.
Come sulfur, brimstone:
burn the alleyways and back-
seats and hall closets.
If hell is real, shall
we grab each other – our hands,
or hearts or throats or
allow the soft, pleasure
as prayer and confession,
or stay on your knees.
ii. You speak like candy,
like, hard and sweet and tasty,
learn how to not rot.
Learn how sugar forms
of crystallization, be-
ware your own edge.
iii. What they tell you bout
bathhouses, and disco are
true, and all the death.
Adonis was a
god — how flesh teaches itself
contortion or statue.
iv. Dandy, pansy, or / light on his feet, or fairy, / sissy, call you queen
or queer or faggot / or fag or freak or bundle / of sticks, again and fragile.
v. Your body is taught as
betrayal, as virus and sin, as taboo, as silence,
criminal, again. still, the bones and blood
every poem is a death & each stanza: an economy
built on an ocean floor covered in bones,
like my mouth. every poem is
that same mouth filled with loose teeth & salt-water.
every poem is ship & sea & sail, a cargo passage
or, the vessel obliged with displacing
the poet’s form. every poem costs some mass, some
measure – requires a body to expose itself. a grammar
called recompense. every poem is a rhetorical
interrogation of how many questions can you fit in your
mouth or, if the jaw learns to unhinge: how will it hang—
heavy & full—be ripe fig on low branch? each poem
is the pit, the seed, the fresh & the molding. delineate
the harvest before the drought.
every poem is masturbation. the gesture of naming
in so many words, crafting metered stroke, in lyric & verse & still,
every poem, even in its most spectacular excitement,
must know how to finish itself off.
jayy dodd is a writer, editor and homeboy from Los Angeles, now based in New England. Xis work has appeared / will appear in Lambda Literary, Prelude, Assaracus, Day One, Winter Tangerine, and Guernica among others. Xe’s the author of [sugar in the tank] on Pizza Pi Press.