by Javier Bateman
After Milo and Ocean Vuong
You are a plate scraped clean.
a ‘come back to me later—please’ sorta guy.
He runs his thumb across your back
like it is some small thing, like it is
nothing at all.
Your mouth opens like a wound
all smooth and terrible,
‘I am Abel and my brother is Cain.’
And for a moment you can misremember
his hand in your hair,
the rock orbiting your skull,
and how the night overhead
was punctured by the white teeth of starlight.
Javier Bateman (They/He) is a queer, chronically ill, trans-nonbinary academic and poet living on unceded Whadjuk Nyungar Boodjar. Javier's poetry deals with diverse themes of grief, gender and gender identity, love, obsession and occasionally, Keanu Reeves. In his downtime, Javier is often found at home consuming media about sad cowboys.
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