Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Tuesday poem #362 : Wren Hanks : Inheritance

I stayed an alcoholic when everyone
grew out of it. Orange top
means a smaller needle, an orange
sinking into beer. She stayed a woman
for drugstore highlighter, bourbon from
Rite-Aid. We fell on the sidewalk,
bled in a claw-foot tub. I stayed
an alcoholic when everyone
grew out of it. She dyed her hair,
buzzed the sides of head, put her
tongue in their mouths to be polite.
Purple top means the needle
pulling testosterone from
the bottle. She stayed an alcoholic
when her friends grew out of it,
her girlfriend, her best friend,
the friend whose bangs made
her fizz. She stayed a woman
to keep us quiet, the days sunk
into beer. She stayed an alcoholic
through the first shot,
the rush when she fled, the days
after I stayed and called our name,
hers bleeding into mine.

Wren Hanks is the author of The Rise of Genderqueer, a 2018 selection for Brain Mill Press's Mineral Point Poetry Series. A 2016 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow, his poetry has been a finalist for Indiana Review's 1/2 K Prize and anthologized in Best New Poets. His recent work appears in Indiana Review, New South, Waxwing, and elsewhere. He is also the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press), an Elgin Award finalist. He lives in Brooklyn, where he works as a coordinator for Animal Care Center of NYC's New Hope program, a proactive community initiative that finds homes for pets (and wildlife) in need.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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