Mitchell Hopkins CC
the looking church
It is raining and there is a phoenix on the street corner selling tickets
To a show no one will ever see his red plumage scattered at his feet
While his neighbor the hound avoids his own tawny complexion in
The mirror a group of ibex run past with branches cradled over their
Heads startling twenty-three conspiracy pigeons and one assassin cat
The badger behind the wheel of an expensive beetle with silver horns
Locked together with a short orange giraffe suffering from a mad god
Complex she won’t ever make the front page run by some sort of scarab
Cult and their fascination with spiders and their snatched snip politics
Printed off the hides of the pups who lived in that alley once upon a time
It is raining and there is a peacock carrying too many feathers in her arms
To the office where she is devoured by asking blue eyes and unwanted
Claws in another block a fox slipping an emerald into her coat pocket
She’ll sell it to that jackrabbit the white one covered in gold body glitter
Living above a deli with druggie bluegills and their grey water cameras
The lonely black bear sitting on that empty stoop his ears cropped to
Perfection once upon a time but now limp like the old sloth too slow for
Change who was gobbled up by that tricky adder in the city’s basement
While the weasels stood on their hind legs and watched with petty grins
As a sparrow pushed a stroller past a group of smoking leather stallions
It is raining and the flamingos go to school with their ballet shoes they all
Look the same at least in a cluster the neon panther hurrying them along
While a raven flies overhead her talons filled with love notes from her
Lover a pretty quetzal more queer than she is cousins with the lion who
Rents downtown in a flat made of skin and stolen yellow beehives.
(In) Over My Head
don’t listen to
a word I say it cantbreathecantbreathe
doesn’t seem don't believe me / malignant
like the t r u t h self - my mind - destruct
is truth a thing I want it to be or is that just me
m ind reading? remind me.
I’m trying I swear
dying the words are blurry again
obsessive stop. r
I’m crying vulnerable up
cantbreathe feelings make your mind over
c h oking me here/ up whelmed
keeping me here the mind’s make fear
damage malignant ; contagious is this what I am un hinged is a dangerous
thing to be figure out how to this mind viper
I’m looking at their faces. At their purely naked
bodies and their ability to push and be pushed.
I’m blown away. Rainbows didn’t exist then,
but the presses did and they were hot and wild
and they were lovely. I’m reading their words
and holding them up to my own heart to see if
they match; I will never be as brave.
I came out to my dad
we were sitting on the couch
watching television. I’d written a lengthy
in the notes app of my phone it
had seemed the right thing to do
at the time.
They pushed and pushed and were pushed out
of windows and onto the spikes of pitchforks
and I didn’t know. I arrived too late to have
known before. I’m looking into the faraway
eyes of a likely-dead lesbian with a sign that
I am your worst fear.
I am your best fantasy.
She’s beautiful. I would have loved to meet her,
to speak with her. I want to meet them all, every
single one. They are all of them courageous and
lovers and lovers always win. Even then.
I felt foolish reading my dad
the memo. like reciting
dramatic / I felt
really just me
trying to explain,
to figure out
how I should do this
all I should have done
was just say it.
They were selling LGBTQ postcards in the gift
shop. Though I could see a pair of rotten capital
-ist hands all over of them, I bought four in black
and white. In one, a class photo of transgender men
and women. One of the women wears an apron and
carries a rolling pin.
My dad was quiet
“okay.” what I expected
from him the next morning
he had “googled me” so he
for sure what pansexuality meant
when I was so afraid that
I still didn’t.
I’m looking into their faces, wondering what kind of
people they were. I’m assuming they are all long gone
now. Still they are bold and beautiful and I hope that
they died in bed as someone loved and not at the end
of a pitchfork or a burning pyre. I could probably find
out their true fates but somehow that seems disrespectful
to their memories. Or maybe they’d want me to know.
Respect has to be earned.
I was so scared it was fear.
Fear that I was making this
up (to belong) or trying
to be something
I wasn’t I stayed awake all night
thinking and doing “research”
trying to make sense of it
I’d never thought about it
I was ______ or this
since the beginning
sex wasn’t something I ever
really thought about but love
was and attraction I was learning
fluid for me. That was a relief
I didn’t know I needed
the framework wasn’t so rigid
I could be with X/Y/someone all
of a sudden I could know
Brittany Coffman is a 20-year-old poet and fiction writer based in New York. Her writing explores dark corners as a way to portray language. She enjoys creating weird and wonderful expressions of the mundane and fantasy.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.