Four Imagined Early Deaths

Thanks to everyone who attended the June KPACT Kick Back where we collected funds for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF). NCSF is an organization whose primary aim is to raise awareness of sex positive and alternative relationships, and advocate for the rights of anyone in the BDSM, kink, and polyamorous communities.

And what better way to raise funds for NCSF than by gathering together and sharing poems & stories? With permission, we have reprinted one of the poems written and read by RE (Ellis) Katz at the event.

 

Four Imagined Early Deaths

by  RE (Ellis) Katz

 

i.

I die

torchways. I call my best sweetest leopards

throttle my darlings. Cycle back

into photos from before I was bron

with ripped corners—ancestors standing

shoulder to shoulder like a

bar graph about rainfall. Ship my

papers. Strip my bed.

 

Slip into the millionth

mouth of a marbled canyon

like I am slipping in between the sheets

on a hot night where there is already another

hot body beating bending into dream.

I press my cracked lips to that forehead

that forehead

doesn’t feel a thing.

Breezes go home to their mothers.

Stars are kept away

from other stars.

 

ii.

 

I die.

I forget what I was saying.

and then

I die. I die

practicing dying which means

I die

fast

asleep

on a flight from the city

where I was born

to the city where I will

die. I die and

the cabin pressure holds.

All of the rolling suitcases shift

during the flight

in the shape of

I D-I-E.

 

iii.

 

I die

in costume. I die on stage

with one eye trained

on the audience wasted on

their reactions. I die and cannot

be roused for a curtain call.

Applause is drippy infinite

I follow

homesickness light rain spotlight

rainslicker spotlight

howling monstrosity

a moon

exhumed

I die.

 

iv.

 

I die

in a club in a hall

of meat.

I die dancing

in a club not

our club no this

club is a new club.

I burst

 

something in an unknown club

like a ceramics museum these

faces only half

available to stark light

of lapsed tangerines—

modern telescopes

and their makers.

 

I need to tell you about

the song. It is our favorite song

and I die

to our song and

when we loved we agreed

to be all these separate fragments

so I am flung apart

 

and I die

dancing. I die of ceremony

of lostness. Here it comes

the highest

note and I find

a way to punish

infinite space. You can see

the pale green

bathwater

everywhere. And the bass

the thunder of moving

our dirty couch to another

apartment. Another basement

a field a parking lot a null set

cauterized. That bass that thrum

the beginning

of a hedge maze.

 

I die and

everyone who parks

remembers where.

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