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When water tower town
Public school health teachers
Teach health
They teach to the test

And, then, small town grads
Grab weapons of war
And storm the state Capitol
Because the test barely touched on
Immunology

Just chastity
And Say No to Drugs
Another generation, scared of their genitals
And, to stay away, naturally
From the Big, Queer, City

The Big, Queer, City is our home and always has been
Decades through Milky Way decadence
It has wheels and rubber and chrome
And a place for your unshod feet
On the windshield glass
As the world flies past
All at home

They light your face with afterburners
For your passport picture and casino ID
We’re freaks
Not rebels
Never part of anything big enough
To bother
With revolution over
Living in 3rd rate opulence

Only seen in the periphery, in sideways glances
Focal point zero, until the phosphorescent daylight moonrise

Freaks
Minding our own minds
Minding the texts and lusty catacombs of centuries

Shrill, red, finch birds fly outside
Feathered air lizards evolved
Hiding none of their magic
Aflit and compassionately ignorant
Since the start
Free as fuck
In the Big, Queer, City

Freaks
with holes punched through the tips of our cocks
with fists stretching the lips of our cunts
And with
Hail Mary, full of Grace
At every banquet dessert plate
Air brakes at the symphony
Ventilators at the Opera
Bring the house down with you,
Try it, next time, with applesauce
Freaks

First of our kind,
Out way before the showroom models
Fucked down by the splendor of a thousand
Hard and swollen, shadowy, truck stop motel cocks
Another star-crossed way to deny
White face, white place, privilege
Sexual reparations should be made

Dust to ashes and ashes to glass
Glass to shards and shards to sand
And sand, to dust, again
Your mirrors can’t be trusted here

You were born with this conditioning
Raised without exception
You came from nowhere
Rooted to no continent
You’re where eclipses go to hide

Freaks
Of the faggot sonatas
Smoke and song and pow-wow drums
In the Big, Queer, City

The kind of place that Vincent Craig
Sang about
When he sang about
Indians, wrapped up in white linen

Where everyone is tripping and shining
With their own right, mighty, light
A spectrum should be possible here
But, the tribes and tides keep swirling
It’s pretty disturbing
the first few times
100 thousand dead now
And the honkey-tonks in Texas
Try like boiling, holy, Hell to ignore
The tectonic persistence
Of the Big, Queer, City
and her freaks

Deplete and delete is the plan
Like the fresh killed memories of
A hundred black men
Left, on our own
To catch this virus
Or asphyxiated on the street
By masked Law & Order

Queen bee lesbian avengers
Come down from the hills
Queue down formaldehyde alleys
Confined by hastily conceived border wall erections
Morning wood in Washington
As I kneel before the sacred things
Relics of the often absent, maybe mythic
Steely Dan the 3rd

All the prostate bois
And machine gun anarchists
Every body
Tripping and shining
In the Big, Queer, City

Monogamy is vice at its worst
I am monogamous to my vices
Because I’ve had more than my fucking fill
of a million good things

Like that second cigarette of the day, after dinner
Enjoyed, indoors
Second hand sinister
And not caring at all, until it occurs
Where have all the ashtrays gone?

Filled with ashy butts and thrown away
Like all that sweet monogamy

The fashion pages and fund-drive radio princesses agreed
At around 50 thousand dead,
That we’d be wearing sequins and low-drag
When the pandemic passed
That the 20’s would roar
Like a clown in the commode car
Backed up and emotionally blocked
With explosions of orgone super-saturated semen
Pitched like dazzling tee-pees
Set up on the neutral grounds
Up and down Elysian after a storm
Sweet Sandia sugar mountain silence does not oppose
The Big, Queer, City

Cinnamon and chocolate over-tones
Coffee flown from San Antone
And I am crying out in Flowersong for Edward
Disco Beat drum and fife machine
Junk-sick and horned up
Trans fixed neutered in glorious corsetry
Floggers sewn from iguana tails
Whipping adolescents from Cunt Lip, TX
Into uniform for the duration
They carry Bibles and icons of General Mattis
Into futility
There will be no Pride parade, this year

In the Big, Queer, City

~

PW Covington is waiting out the weather, two blocks north of Historic Route 66, somewhere in New Mexico.
His latest book, a collection of short fiction titled North Beach and Other Stories was named a finalist in LGBTQ+ Fiction by the International Book Awards (2019).
Find recipes and tales of derring do on Insta @BeatPW

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