(after Sara Ahmed’s discussion of “affect aliens”: the feminist killjoy, the melancholic migrant, and the unhappy queer)

(after Sara Ahmed’s discussion of “affect aliens”: the feminist killjoy, the melancholic migrant, and the unhappy queer)(1)

I’m trying to understand why 

when I split open and swarm 

the temperature jagged hot 

you blow the air back in

smelling like the space between

dry leaves and damp dirt

twice and thrice behaved

but still with secrets

stung teeth

squeezebox birds

high-pitched mouth full of marbles

irreparable corruptions

sometimes an awful little cell

clamps down around you

how do you stay suspended

so that no sides touch you

and burn you how do you

Is dreading forward selfish?

I sleep on my back

wadding behind my upper lip

to prevent sinking

I have always been real

though you forgot for years

because I was a girl

they called me ugly

and because I was smart

they called me stupid

a way to say shit for any

kind of way of being

Newly initiated

you are eager to teach me

what I’ve known for years

you don’t grow gentle 

until I’m wrecked

to not belong 

to not want to be here

to make poor

milky spendthrift dripping 

down the sides

crooked yellow trails in eyes

ran like a thief

but made away with the wrong thing

I wear the wrong colors

I am so embarrassed

Where does it come from?

Maybe I can wash 

the spot especially but the whole

body smells

and you don’t relent

you force a head down

I worked for years 

to make you worthy of me

put rock salt in my pockets

to punish my hands

stop pounding sometimes I need

to hurt too

I don’t need to lick my lips

until you point out the shab of my face

to dump rocks in the pond

until the fish rise up drowned

plump whitened stretch of firmness

the milk bath of patiently taking it


An unsweet thick of milk

this never coming back from being

less and less convinced of your worth

I raised a pup from birth

and was shocked when he grew

to look like any wild wolf

no faith just loss

I go outside to gulp down

the dampness of deep soil

molasses unwashed

mealy leaves on the trail

wake up with the crackling of my own

teeth’s shavings

and there it was

twisting against the wall(5)

Life is never far off

it’s my birthday all the time

you shoot your rifle into the sun

how do I stop anything

I am becoming becoming becoming

when to anything else I 

was hardly at all

before I died

your curses clopping before me

everywhere I went