by Teo Mungaray
after Olena Kalytiak Davis
Oh God make me “clean” again, Seen,
I said, I am dirty or flirty or thriving,
Surviving, God. I am broken. Broke.
Spent. I have spent my time and money
and orgasms on the easy things. Sleazy things.
I am malfeasance embodied, bodied by evil things,
God. I see the dark ways, the grass of the parkways.
Ways into the parks and at night our bodies lay, God,
in parallel lines. Spines and spines and each fine
public crime is fuel. Two fools. Two rules:
Lie. Truth be told, I told the truth, bit the poison tooth,
God. Proved the lie is foolproof. Every verse
subverts. I pray, I pray, Pray tell, do I lie, God?
And Two: Deny. At night I scry in silver plates
with holy water. I Divine. I pry, God.
Then I try, God. I put a no in my throat,
but out came a yes. I assume. I consume.
I play at make believe, etch relief. I say,
Make me empty, an empty jar, God. Sing,
little nightjar. I turn away, I’ve spun
far longer than is done. This isn’t relief, God.
Spun out and strung out, I’m full of grief, God.
Spare the child, spoil the rod. I’ve loved narrow,
I’ve loved broad. It’s been a while in this marrow,
and I’ve bled a lot, God. I confess I’m a mess.
Torn. Confetti. Unsteady. I fall. I while. I dress
in sin and grin. Again, a glass of gin, God.
Teo Mungaray is a queer, chronically ill, Latinx poet. He holds an MFA from Pacific University of Oregon and is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is a co-founder and co-editor in chief of Cotton Xenomorph. His poems have appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Barrelhouse Magazine, ANMLY, Gulf Coast, The Shade Journal, and Waxwing. He has a cat named Lysistrata. You can find him on Twitter @teomungaray