Gaze

Dedicated to Sasha Velour.

To feel the eyes
Upon your neck in whispered spears chucked from the back of class,
Upon your swinging arms and straightened spine as you cross minefields lined with lockers,
Upon your animated traitor hands when they refuse to refuse their dancing
Upon your face when asked about girls,
—about boys,
—about how could you bring shame to this family,
Upon your bowed head and shaking jaw and stained glass confession tears,
Upon your prostrate begging body in dark loneliness of nightly prayer

To feel the eyes
Upon your pounding chest as you pull into the parking lot for the first time
Upon your goosebumps when you walk into the black light electric refuge
Upon your face,
And hair,
And skin,
And frame,
And muscle,
And stance,
And clothes,
And drink,
As the gaze from a thousand collective years refract toward you in rainbow daggers
To slice and dice you into, “Category Is…”

To feel the eyes shift
Toward the stage, diffracted into wonder—
Beauty bends as the artist drags our categories into punchlines
Absurdity so stunning, daggers fall from each other’s throats, our own wrists
Gaze upon this portal
Into this dervish spinning force
Project projections onto this mystic mirror and
Witness the poet’s truth: We contain multitudes.

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