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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.

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