[When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes]
For you, sex, light is a real person
to love without language unless language
in our quiet corners pushes selvage
off of each other & back into the bone.
Gravity keeps our bodies apart enough
making empathy a lustful act above
all others. Your hands are just a pull
& remind me I knew you as sound first,
sound wrapped in systems of inversion.
Haply I think on thee, and then my state
of unending inversion, off to the side.
No, the desire to call our love anything
cannot be heard against space’s scrim:
in a silent void there is just him & him.
on Mangiafuoco’s stage
i’ve got no strings to hold me down
to make me fret or make me frown
my whale my lonely street corner
with 12 of us itching to be let out.
they think i bought my sex in a shop.
do you think i’m closing? i’m closing
i’ve got a jigger in the drawer & i’m closing.
blind beggar cut in his own gut,
carved the last star on the wall.
but he’s gone too, left me like he left you.
they got their black senate out there
kissing me & millions of strange shadows
but on you tend to the street’s republic of luck
& here i am dancing it off in a quorum.
Pontius Pilate Becomes the City
Against my love shall be as we are now
we the lovers of exotic backyards
or just the lovers as some people say
there are only one of us now i guess
but we still commune as if multiple
have you ever tried to bingo alone?
i didn’t think so it isn’t easy or hard
but we love it & we love you for trying
we want you to get the most from our
stay here so when you pick us up try
putting us in your back pocket
don’t sit on us but you can if you want
we’re only small on high holidays
we’re only here for a little while longer
The Politician’s Love Song
summer & the museum is sundress
where after bloom everyone asks when
as if the seven seconds the yellow
light hid from us were celebratory
that sin by him advantage should achieve
marble cutouts carried us when
you took me in my mother’s basement
in Ohio we revel in the seasons
that strip wine around our teeth in gulls
no, i’m not here to read you a poem
our clothes are on the floor, harps
in the back of our throats keep singing
my mind still on the last song played
& yes, i am here to read you a poem
RJ INGRAM lives in Oakland and is pursuing an MFA from Saint Mary’s College of California where he edits Mary: A Journal of New Writing and works as a social media editor for Omnidawn Publishing. RJ’s cat Brenda lives in North Carolina and lost a leg while blackberrying with Mercury in retrograde. @RJEquality