Nom de guerre
by Jeremiah Moriarty
I told him he should go back to Sioux Falls.
Any other pics? I want to set myself on fire,
but it’s fine. DDF? This is our language, shadow-letters on a wall, and
we its fickle students. Into older? Pictures with chunky filters are
sent, flattening and defining. Personalities are suggested but not
confirmed. Not into otters, sorry, just
a preference. Cool. I’m not jaded, it’s so much worse online for
people of color, people with disabilities, I’m still young, haven’t yet earned
that regal air of elegant exhaustion, that sigh, that disco stigmata
which accompanies chapped years of glances, starving under
bruised neon. Looking? My mom rented Angels in America
from Blockbuster when I was 12, let me
watch it with her. Just into masc, sorry, have a good evening.
All sorts of smooth criminals here. Wyd? Thinking about
generations of queers, of artists, of critics, of would-be
parents, how I was called a bloom in their bloodied field,
soaked to the seed. Older 4 younger, pnp? We have these names
that are not our names, prayers to a stranger walking
the hazy borderlands of want and not-want, desire and its apology,
never the god we’ve heard of, the one missing in action.
Clean? Blocked. Ha. A single ‘ha’? Is that good?
A door opens and I take it. U around? Salty-haired daddy
named ‘yoga guy.’ A cold drink, a stiff couch. Are these my
good years? Moving fast, I whisper ‘so sexy’ into
the shallow well of his ear, world turning, ceiling fan turning, if only—
a hero hinged on some Orphean dilemma—to turn away from
the bronze urn on his mantle.
Jeremiah Moriarty is a writer from Minnesota. His work has previously appeared in The Rumpus, Prelude, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Hobart, The Cortland Review, and elsewhere. He tweets @miahmoriarty.