wax father / mother
i found your forms
in underwear ads. triptychs of gender.
school hallway where at the end
there is a candle wick.
we would collect half-used lighters
like talismen. bottom of my backpack.
what kind of flame would you like?
you were busy mowing the lawn
for the hundreth time. you were busy
milking the cow of her wax.
spilling jupiter & a mop to clean up
the tongue before it dries.
i never knew how to tell you i was
trying to learn how to fly. instead.
i paced the roof in the dead of night.
plucked stars like blueberries
& fed them to the ghosts to keep them
from shoving me off the edge.
a flame is a place of gathering. moths
for their funerals. burned like
secret notes passed by carrier pigeons
in the knees of night. then, genders
to feast on an image. here is where
everyone can see me. the light,
an agent of almost. shadows that
could give you a face or take it away.
flickering. here is where you are
& then gone. you with the holes
burned in your socks. you with
a tunnel underneath the city where
you go to be a woman. a man.
i pour the mold. pull the wick out
of your head. ask if you want to choose
which light i pick to light you.
you go with the blue one. it's all
part of being alive. watching your
whole self melt in the name of a spell.
soon we will know what is left.