Poems: Sara Youngblood Gregory

climate death but my blood runs hot

the entire coast of southwest florida chokes herself out. red tide bloats the shore and i strip off my shirt stuff it under the door frame quick. we can smell the dead bodies through every crack the fish can’t breathe and i can’t cope. their bones are my earrings my dance card the silver spoon in my mouth mouth the words along with me i love you from now til 2050. my baby ties me between sheets forget the shore they say i can’t. we have eighteen months until the end of all worth but queers have always lived like this. we are historically choked-out sea birds and i make nothing up. think aids in the eighties such heatwaves of july, nineteen eighty nine. my mother won’t tell me if heatstroke killed my cousin jay or the sweating, gorgeous twinks who looked but never found. the government still won’t speak our frothy, fag names; thirty years later they recall how death equals silence. they xare killing us and by they i mean capitalists who blame us and by us i mean the birds and the fish the working poor the brown and the black and the angry and the the the. i am thirty before i realize how silence makes rainstorms out of dykes. how every one of our cousins turned red guts in a glass vase. the vice is everything jay birds never tell us of ourselves. you gasp from between my legs the only place safe to swim now and your mouth, dripping saltwater, red tide fingers, and my fish bone nipples. I don’t make out the words.

“guts in a glass vase” is a reference to Carmen Giménez Smith’s poem “Parts of an Autobiography”
published in Milk & Filth, 2013.

salomé, AZ

arizona is slippery red
jagged on my lips
the open sore of loving you
my teeth in your neck & daylight grief
fills every canyon
chandeliers and backwater fluoride
is the river
where we find church
the river where you find god
fist fights with your father
& the boldness to swing
is all that you drank
but we are in the desert
chipping molars on mirages
& remembering thirst
your father dies & you’re the man of the house
butch lesbians are always second best
is all you say about it
when we cross the border
i spit in your mouth
& never call you daddy again

Sara Youngblood Gregory is a lesbian poet and culture writer. She serves on the Board of Directors for Sinister Wisdom, the longest running lesbian literary and arts journal. Their work has been published in Vice, Jezebel, The Rumpus, and others. Follow Sara on Twitter.

Image via Flickr

Submit a comment