Linette Reeman (they/them pronouns) is a gap-toothed Aries from the Jersey Shore. They are pursuing a B.A. in History, were recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Crab Fat Magazine, are part of the Philadelphia Fuze Poetry Slam collective, and probably want to high-five you. Solicit their art at: LINETTEREEMAN.TUMBLR.COM / INSTAGRAM @LINETTEREEMIX.
IN PHILADELPHIA AFTER DONALD TRUMP IS ELECTED
there is almost enough room for the four of us / in the back of my 2002 Subaru Forester / if we put the back-seat down / and everyone takes off most of their shoes / okay, let me set the scene: / okay, the windows are fogging up, / so i can’t set the scene / and y’all i’m really not here / for the commodifying of queer bodies and intimacy / through the narrative of radical sexuality / i mean like i’d rather pretend we don’t have / genitalia at all and just hold hands instead / but i mean everyone in my back-seat / is sort-of Jewish, / and this car is located in Philadelphia / and the week Donald Trump got elected / swastikas bloomed here like grave-flowers / after a premature death, and isn’t it? / don’t we all kiss like we are ripping / off band-aids, y’all / everyone in the backseat of my car / is into choking / and, okay, one time my mother and i / were at a TGI Friday’s and she asked me / if i’d ever been choked before and i / got defensive, so she assumed yes, / and told me to be careful because / if someone chokes me wrong, i could / get hurt and y’all, that was the least / sexiest conversation i’ve ever had / in my whole life but that’s all i can think about / right now when my hands are around this / girl’s neck and she’s got dessert-plate eyes / and someone else shrieks that there is / some cis dude watching us from another car / and so up from the pile of legs reaches / a hand to smudge the fogged up windows / messier and even though i didn’t mention it / y’all probably figured it out but everyone / in this here back-seat is Trans so / we’ve all been hurt by someone we loved before / so we’ve all learned how to choke properly / i mean we’ve all learned how to swallow / and call it survival / and y’all i’m really not into / PDA but someone told me that / the picture we all took after we / put our shoes back on was / the happiest he’d ever seen us / all in one place i mean look how / easily the band-aids come off in / someone else’s mouth i mean / there is sex i’ve had that was more / violent act than peace march / and i know “riot” is a bad word but / maybe it is better than “sodomy” / and just know that if i am killed by fascists / i did not go down without a fight / i mean my mouth probably made love / to their weapons i mean / we’ve all been fucked by the system so / if we do not get to decide what our bodies / are called at least we can decide who / gets to love them i mean / i’m usually not into poems that use / intimacy as a metaphor for something else / but seriously, i’m not exactly sure / whose hands are learning my hair but / i am not worried about being hurt / y’all a lot of times i don’t want to have sex / the same way i don’t want to do the dishes / look how easily i animal during hunger / how my mess affects others / how scared i am i will clean up wrong and / okay, listen, i used to work at this brunch place / in a rich area and sometimes when / people who could buy me didn’t tip me enough / to own myself / i would break a plate on purpose / just fuckin make eye contact with the wall and / let that fucker slip out my hands and shatter / next to the line of high-chairs and y’all / i think that’s what i’ve done with my body / when i don’t feel good enough to own / i break against anything, y’all / sometimes when i kiss other Trans people / i taste crushed flowers and that is just / a kinder way of saying “dirt” and someone / reaches up and writes the word “GAY” / in our window-fog with a shaking, painted nail / and okay, we get it, this is pretty gay / and i guess someone could tell us that yes / we all look happy yes / we all look alive yes / sometimes words mean something else so / maybe when i say it feels good i mean / it feels safe / i mean there isn’t really enough room / for everyone back here but there is / enough space / y’all after we were done / i had to wipe my whole front window down with / my shirt-sleeves / y’all i’m not trying to metaphor i just mean / afterwards, everything looked clean.