Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.
When we finally make it, we sit on cold stones.
The river curling over and under our feet
even colder. His secret place.
The air has that early fall smell, things beginning
to rot, the wet soil nourishing itself.
Anything could happen
to me in this white ass town. I’m terrified
if he knows that and terrified if he doesn’t.
My body is puffy, unremarkable.
I’ve grown distant and sullen.
A witch told me gin placates the dead.
Whose dead have I been trying to drown
drinking my own elegy?
He asks if I’m happy, and I say yes. See how easy it is
to get here, he says. Yes,
I say. But you have to take me back.
Copyright © 2019 by Derrick Austin. Used with the permission of the author. Originally published in Tin House in 2019.