Am I still a broken tile
Sisters. What whispers have you? Circle secrets. Candle to the chin. Woman-shaped shadows walk the lawn. They call it gossip, what we do. Windchime warnings, as they haunt the parameters of our picket fence. Our picket, performing the chore of protection. Our fence, a slight string of sighs, insinuations. A flutter of freckled moths forms a mosaic against our window, shields us from their gaze, carries whispers to the wind, searching for other fences and flames with which to kill ourselves, over and covert again. Bitch hunt. They call it complaint. We become the trouble by invoking its name. They tell us we are poison and therefore vaccine. Drain milk from our bodies. Dig graves in our lawn. They call it lies. Hysteria. Throw dirt on the herstory, Freud’s flaccid exposure, they were touched by Daddy after all. Funny. How they want to hear the names we whisper, never those we shout. Our fence, the whites of averted eyes. The mosaic is a picture of our tits.
State of Undress
Yet another ghost leaks from a pussy and passes me by.
Hardly a glance in my direction, scarcely a thank you.
A swing slips down from the ceiling, the ghost mounts
and sways over its mother’s heaving form, its toes
dipping in the warm ripples of her wet,
the same wet that nearly drowned me.
To be clear, it’s a shame I didn’t drown.
Tonight, only one ghost will glitter this room.
I remain the gentleman in the top hat,
kneeling to help the starlet descend from her high.
This moment is not my moment.
I defer to the woman whose queer virginity just sighed,
passing through to the next realm.
We watch the train of its star-dusted gown shimmer off.
“I think I am no longer
interested in certain dresses,” my darling reflects.
Her eyes mist with the memory
of some latter-day cabaret come to pass. I nod,
my recognition a corsage
stuck to her syruped bloom. Her moment. Her shine.
“Yes,” I avow. “I too
only like certain dresses. Mostly the ones pressed tight
and dark.” Her milk saucer eyes offer themselves. An unblemished
pity in her ask. “As in the dresses you like seeing on women?"
Jayson Keery is based in Western Massachusetts. They are the author of The Choice is Real (Metatron Press, 2023) and the chapbook Astroturf (o•blēk editions, 2022). They have been anthologized in Mundus Press’s Nocturnal Properties, Nightboat Books' We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, and Pilot Press London's A Queer Anthology of Rage. They received the 2022 Metatron Prize for Rising Authors, selected by Fariha Róisín, and the 2021 Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship, selected by Wendy Xu. A complete list of publications, awards, and interviews live online at JaysonKeery.com.