Alexander Rabb CC
Bad Mouth Tang
Anywhere I go--
starting a new job,
walking into a workshop ready to learn a new lexicon,
traveling in a foreign country,
or waking fresh on a foggy morning,
convinced I’ve left my old baggage behind.
No one wants the suitcase I carry
filled with what feels important--
photos, memories, losses,
a moonlit eve I smoked my first joint,
a neighbor who used me
and I used him.
Dozens of sex stories,
a bunch of female-living-in-a-man’s-world shit
even I cannot stand.
Yeah, I’ve left it behind
shoved it under the bed and hope no one finds it.
It will free itself in a curse one day--
only I and a few I once knew
have seen how I rock a bad mouth motherfucker--
my Queens tang will give me away
at some high class party--
I’ve never belonged, my stockings always had a run,
my toes hurt, my gangly legs didn’t know where to land,
so I stood stock still.
Always a fresh start,
unexperienced, ready to learn
to grasp and figure it out--
who are the right people to ask--
to smile, to survive.
Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle. She has a chapbook and two full size poetry books. Her most recent, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and won the Bisexual Book Award. Her work is widely published in journals and anthologies, a few include: The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now, Mad Swirl, Stonewall Legacy Anthology and Day Without Art Special 30 Year Edition.
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