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September 20, 2019 Poetry


Rafael E. Gonzalez

Abierto photo


What you came here to witness
is my body laying sideways,

                asking you between chuckles,
                “Baby, can you pick the dead

skin from my pimples?”

                             This is not a fag’s easy way
                             out—this is pure

gold jewelry: Maria Felix’s Cartier crocs;
the green staring directly at you, asking

for penance—a do
over. You’re here

                              to watch me tan naked,
                              in the salon or out by the pool.

This is not a story about immigration.

This is you remembering how I entered
your body; this is me faking

               a southern accent. Do you desire
               the rugged hands, the boots? The hat

hiding my unibrow?
Am I more palatable now?


image: Dorothy Chan