Earlier in the history of your small body
boys chased each other & mocked
the copper taste of shame crawling
up their throats. Isn’t it funny
how metal reverses almost religiously.
A child of gods with blood on his stomach
versus that same child grown up, licking
the carpet of a strange man’s apartment.
You wear the soft wood of the closet door
until you scar over. What Orpheus did
to his beloved under the cave’s cover;
hushed lover performing violence as foreplay
then salve to forget. Later a man undresses
another man on the floor of a shooting range.
They grab fistfuls of skin to feel big, taking turns
inside of each other. See how I’ll vessel
any living verb. Danger your reflection to feed
my eyes. Shame atrophying in the night. See how
pity lights like gunpowder—keeping nobody warm.
Eurydice turned around then walked freely
back into hell.
Duncan Slagle is a queer poet and performer from Alaska & then Minnesota. He currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a First Wave Scholar. He is the winner of the 2018 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize. His chapbook Father Hunt is forthcoming online from L'Éphémère Review. A 2018 Best of the Net nominee, his poems appear at BOAAT Journal, Frontier Poetry, & Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others. He loves birds.