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TO REMOVE STATIC by Joseph Jordan-Johnson


Take off all your clothes.

Let every pore whistle

for a moment think

of warmth. Think of that

dull thud of your heart

underwater, like it is porcelain,

loud / hollow / cold.


Imagine climbing that shadow—

a dark paternal birth

like quiet anger, or the one

second after a shower in winter.

Imagine how he is nothing but

nothing, shade after your feet.

A small compromise, but I

want the water gone from my ears.


When you were in the passenger seat,

what did he say?

Can you really remember it?

—All there was, was heat,

my hand his crotch the shirt

stuck to my back his hand

on my head elbow sticking to the

arm rest like cottommouthed spit,

like all there was of earth had been

sucked of soil & green & salt

& the thickness of him.


Think about fucking more than

you actually fuck.

Bite the inside of his hip until

you hear the kettle come to,

& direct which way his spine

twists with your tongue,

your hands on the pink

of his lower back, focus on his hips

let every twang be a blessing

all naught / tight / wound / rolling marrow.


When you cum,

be proud of how your body

leapt without purpose, how you

let yourself give without push—

no catalyst.

No matter how loud you sang in him,

we sang ourselves so purple

the only thing we were missing

were crowns.


JOSEPH JORDAN-JOHNSON (they/them) is a fat black queer writer & visual artist from the suburbs of Chicago, now residing in Portland as an editor for Cunjuh Mag. Their work has been featured in Nepantla, Jackalope, and University of Chicago’s Blacklight Magazine. They’ve earned a Gold Key from Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and Second Place in the Glazner Creative Writing Competition at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. You can hang & listen to their pitfalls on Twitter @authenthicc.


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