Road Rage

Poetry Dec 17, 2021

Here are some poems from the last few months on the road, in second to third draft stages. Last one is pretty smutty, fyi. Hope the formatting holds, the internet still hasn't figured out poetry afaik.

Get boosted, read books. I’ve recently been crushing hard on Achy Obejas’ Boomerang/Bumerán. Support trans people of color. Hope you enjoy!

A selfie of Nico in the window at the back of a bus clutching her trusty backpack with glittery painted nails, KN-95 on, earbud cord running down into red jacket pocket as she sets off from NYC in early October, 2021.


1 de octubre, 2021

A city scribbled. Once
conceived of as open.
Clues remain in parks
porous with backyards,
now quarantined off.
Hard-edged swing sets
and scorching slides.
Pharmacists on break
blue and white on
a triangle of green.
An amphitheater dripping
with rust. Words
composed of pressure
reclaim walls. Gates grossly
sutured to the grass
close at sundown. Circles
of teens must be shooed
away. A city surrounded
by peaks swiftly melting
tries to deny it was built
for people. Tries to hide
behind high-rises the mountains
we gaze up to.

Today end two years
of curfew.       Do you remember
when it started? Oh       yes,
you weren’t here. 7:00,
7:30 in the evening           those
early days.                      No, it must’ve been
      9:00!—         After, yes, but
those early days of outbreak— barely
by 7:00, be home or risk
beating.      An excuse
for arrest. An abuse of time
to crush space. A kettling in
by hour. Then, two years of watching
the clock for enough time
to get home. I swear, tonight
va a quedar la cagá.


Los Trenes de la Noche
after Jorge Teillier

An amalgamation of gates
closing, running with clothes,
pots, laptop pounding against lungs,
feedback against ears, just in time
for the suburban coyote to pick
at the scraps of balloon-feeling
inflating under my collarbones,
the morning-wrought anxiety rising
like pigeons trapped in the station
slamming themselves

against high glass
laced with wrought
iron delicacy.

Tell me about the byzantine reflections,
the rivers’ billion shards staining
a freight liner that kept going long
after the sudden snowstorm swept the valley
clean of desire I may have projected
upon her, a closeness felt intensely
but not to rely on. And the quiet unwillingness

to learn about my pussy. Had she broken
up with me earlier, is that a fair ask?
Left me with a narrative, an ending
rather than a phone call crying
at an empty offer of consolation
for the pain she caused. A portrait runs
in reverse at the autumn station,
all passengers turning to see the expectant
specter of an empty cerement on a white bed.
One believes the cold to move faster
saying seeps and rubberneck
at oblivion twitching in the shoulder.

To think I chiseled this language
with teeth sharpened in my mother’s kitchen
and now I just let them, words run
around whole, nearly coherent, as a conscious
body vanishes effortless. Crisis moves
like honey around here, viscous
and ever-hardening. In the Future, they’ll resent
our tactile insistence, our illusions
of Apocalypse. Angels blazing
down The Pentagon. The belief in Data
doesn’t lie, and Empire’s reliable crumble
at predictable intervals. Ambulance pulls

away and we follow, impelled
but paralyzed. Then you smell the women
before they arrive, popping corks at 7
in the morning, silver hair
in sharp short waves, pleather
and tall boots and crackling peals
of laughter.

One can feel stuck without a home,
as though movement were a place
that doesn’t change. Imagine
this were in my mother’s tongue
when what I seek to say is a translation.
It takes time to untangle the fray
of sound, tight the daily resistance
to words, their curdling. Their purposes
I abhor: pronouncements and urgency
come crowing, crowding my refuge. Attempt silence,
set limits, control what I can of the influences
congealing in muddy tributaries the delta
of my mind. Oily silt trickling
between neurons. Focus on the clacking
of the tracks. A town composed
of discount guns, a DQ, a hooded stoplight.

There is awe yet in the filaments of sun
spun efficiently in choreography across
the wall. Night boards the train
in thickening reflections, the side of a grain
silo rendered diorama by floodlight,
a blinking that keeps pace until the end
of its country road, the persistent and silent
lightening making nearly a rhythm
across the underbelly of such hefty clouds
as clamoring and clanging of brightness, a flood
in the shrouded hallways suddenly twisted
to sleep. Rickety gangways welcome
new arrivals. One must be taught to kick.
One kicker must be expelled due to failure
to comply with mandate, deputy awaits.

Holds slip off. Slide back, our bearings
shift. A glow begins to emanate
from either end as if from within
and out, a deliverance coming
down the track. For a quiet moment
each of us singes.


Taos, NM

Wears a performance of history
on every wall, corners curving
smooth as long pickup trucks
cruising, the sudden shudder
jump of gears switching,
running through the stops top
to bottom, pointing out passing
bandanas as possible mark
of belonging, but failing to be seen.
Or rather, I’m perceived in revision:
two years now of desiring
the opposite conclusion to confusion;
practicing the use of a static
fuzz beneath my skin to only
half-hear others’ self-corrections
from her to him upon my voice’s
clarity, developing selective
ignorance as self-protection,
guarding energy and sanity against
every moment of man, mannerism,
manipulation, mandibles, mangling
manslaughter: my little pills’
mischief. Eradicating T with a glee
once reserved for hard-ons.
Imagine this butch queen low
riding in an old two-tone pickup,
sound system sending cumbia
beats, neoperreo intenso up
your ass, quaking rattling
windows rolled down, I bump by
in high faded jeans and leather belt
and big gay bandana wrapped
around curls that somehow never dry
even in this arid town. Itty bitty
titties wave from under
a white cotton shirt. A taste
of estradiol’s handsome
handiwork. Is the fantasy
of a gender the realest thing?
Does the double negative make
a positive or is it mere
repetition: fantasy//gender? Say:
ISO T4T cowgirlboi-on-girldick
in the bed of my blue truck
rip big wet clit out from lace tuck,
find out what these fingers can do
when relieved of duty on the gears
shift into clutching your shaft
revving you up roaring loud
before I let you off with a spasm
and a lurch into high speed
spanking ass red to match the fringe
on these leather chaps, choke
me with the back of your bullwhip
before you beat me into the seats
sticky with sweat, the melting
crappy vinyl pulling on my flesh and after,
after, after, after lesbian sex
never ends, we turn
our truck into the sunset,
slowly fade away.