Poem: Chris Campanioni

Illo for Chris Campanioni's poem.

Drinking five dollar tap water at a club

in Astoria no one knows the name of
the person they’re sitting next to

is high, drooling, already
looking toward the bathroom single

stall for more where a man
guilts me into cleaning my hands

handing me his hand in a prayer
for some cash the privilege

to hear me empty
out myself or exit

without a word
Chris Campanioni teaches literature and creative writing at Baruch College and Pace University, and interdisciplinary studies at John Jay. His “Billboards” poem that responded to Latino stereotypes and mutable—and often muted—identity in the fashion world was awarded the 2013 Academy of American Poets Prize and his novel Going Down was selected as Best First Book at the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. He edits PANK and lives in Brooklyn, where he wrote his new book, Death of Art.

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