Butch Dancing

1 November 2018

We go out butch dancing
Poets and lovers
Get lost in a vertical groove
Scale the room of eyes legs glitter
I ask
are you a dancer?
ultimately, they say.
Beats pop
soda or salt
rush against the impulse to stand still and stare
eat up gorge the sight of queers—
I didn’t know I was hungry
Until I
clash bodies anonymous brushing beating balance of too late wrong way wrong time
right girl boy queer no after you.

We’re standing around talking about Janelle Monae
I like what comes out of her mouth.
Oh, yeh.

Unsure
it’s almost a two-step dad-dance
two-step Highway Hotel cover band booze dance
except that my Dad is an excellent dancer.
In our tangle dipping down passing through
I keep time in my legs bent knees and wide thighs with insides against outsides each
other all the loose tightness of denim vs flesh always busting pouring stuffing
—like that time
I heard you pop.

Our bodies might move differently better
If we were some other kind of trans-queers
And I would need sex or something like it to really get to the bend of my body to go
to the soft edge of my body to stop staring
But I watch her instead distracted elegant nervous
And think about the poem I will write when this is done
And it will be years until we are here together again
poets dancing watching more beautiful more glitter more butch more daddy fag dyke
femme boy power and
your motorcycle grip revs
arms stretched out
hips locked
somehow loose
beneath denim
beneath the cloth of a week of talking reading diet coke but not diet coke anymore
just soda water with lime or tea or coffee and
conversation
shouted ear to ear because it’s so fucking loud
they ask me
Who is your mother?
and it’s complicated but of course not
I sort of shrug and move back and forward
a blonde femme spills over me
hangs from my shoulders
Do you have any MDMA?
Sorry, no.

Must be the bandanna, Al. Screams dealer.
Yeh, must be.

Two cops stand on the mezzanine above the bar
watching the queers on show
just the gentle presence of the state come to visit the party which we know is not gentle
we know is not soft butch boy is not
hard femme top girl
has none of their charisma
has none of the bells
does not moan like Saturday morning
of slow fuck love I give you
none of your gentle mouth.
That’s’ Sydney, he says.

The drag show is about to start
music and lights come up down and beat
we position ourselves in a curve by the front of the stage
our bodies all loosely connected touching here and there
in the split
recognition
the moment before articulation:
you got the best of my love.

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