Untitled (Orlando, June 12, 2016)

#1

I am trite. Nothing.
Today is divided into those who say “Orlando” and see the past,
And those who say “Orlando” and see the future.
Will the word “pulse” ever be the same?
A slithery kind of sexy feeling.
And people in my office,
People talking about summer vacations,
And beach novels and bottle of wine,
Like nothing ever happened. Ever.
Me, I’m nothing.
Listening. A walking target.
My sacred heart. Oh Mark, you know what I mean.

#2
It’s like this, you see.
At night you look up. Look up,
You see shining stars in the sky,
Rising dancing higher, so far up,
From Orlando on up like swirling,
Rising bloody clouds from the dance-floor,
Until stars cover the heavens,
Heaven has been covered with death,
I avert my eyes because the sky is too bright,
The blood falling, falling,
Back to earth, watering my anger,
With their lives

#3
Who names the stars?
I need to talk to them today,
Tell them to get cracking,
Because we need to do some renaming.
Now

#4
You!
I live in a house made of your secrets,
I walk barefoot on the rugs,
Woven of your shame.
I choke on the dust that rises,
Rises, covering my skin,
I breathe in your fear.
I have promises,
I am holding you hostage,
Even if holding sounds gentle,
It is not love,
It’s not.
You live in my anger.

#5
No matter how much I ever tried,
I’ve never passed for something not twisted,
Never passed.
Thursday, June 16th 2016:
I’m at work today,
A lump of raw meat,
In my office writing this,
While my office-mates are oblivious.
“Electronics attract dust” spoken, ebbing in and out,
Their words filter into my room.
I watched the gun control filibuster last night,
Knitting, knitting for my life,
A spool of rainbow wool unfurling in the night.
And the self-absorbed young queers on twitter,
With their selfies and dim gloming,
Tweeting ‪#‎queerselflove,
Damn them, wake up!
Walk outside of yourself,
The world needs you and you need it,
But you sprinkle glitter on it and call it a day,
Turning from your elders.
And I’m still a gimp,
A walking target,
Rags falling from my flesh, I stoop,
Losing my wallet, my keys, my thoughts,
Losing so much as I walk into the night.

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About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a genderqueer San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran. They live with their Maine Coon cat, Lulu, and bake yeasted waffles every Sunday morning. Behrouz Gets Lucky is their first novel. You can find their erotic short stories sprinkled in various anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 and Sex Still Spoken Here. Avery is currently working on a book of more of Behrouz and Lucky's shenanigans, a memoir, and an illustrated early reader children's book about a eight year old transgender boy and his family.
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