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By Torrin A. Greathouse

a man & a woman walk into a bar / & sit on the same stool /
the man & the woman are the same person //

which is to say / a freak walks into a bar & sits down / grips
their beer bottle as tight as a weapon / presses it to their lips &
wishes it were a knife //

a freak walks into a bar & sits / clutching a bottle like a hand-
grenade / & the whole room cracks their grins wide teeth into
vultures beaks //

the freak reluctantly unroots their fingers / from the glass &
slinks across the room / for the bomb-shelter of a bathroom /
hopes there is only one //

which is to say / that hallways like this are always the most
fucked up form of let’s make a deal / & the contestant is praying /
to find less violence behind door #1 //

which is to say / a person in a dress / with a cock / walks into
men’s bathroom in a dive bar / on the cheap side of santa ana /
& prays that they no one decides to paint the linoleum / the same
color as their lips //

which is to say / that i am afraid whenever i go out / & some days /
i am terrified to look like myself / & still leave my house //

which is to say / when i am in the clothes i feel most
comfortable in / i cannot tell if it is the tightness of my shirt /
or the fear / that is keeping the air from my lungs //

which is to say / i see everything around me like a knife / every
doorway a weapon / every sharp corner another place / that
someone could make a stain of me //

which is to say / i am afraid of disappearing by morning //

people like me / which is to say / freaks / walk out their door
in the morning / & into the guillotine’s waiting mouth //

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