Two Micros by Joanna Hoffman

"Sonnet for a New Year" and "The man at the bar"

Sonnet for a New Year

I’m thankful for lust, this shaken snowglobe;
how the fog is a nectar holding all
my air. If I knew where this was going,
I wouldn’t keep my eyes open now. Please, pull
the blood scarves tight around my neck. Please, break
the legs of the grief parade that’s kept me
inside all year. I want your mouth to lead
me to the softest exit: death’s tasting
room. O, every flavor of wince, every
hand tearing off the blindfold as the wind
bares its teeth, bites down on the power cord.
Please, don’t let me say her name, but don’t let
me forget it either. It’s the road I
have to cross to know I’m not home yet.

The man at the bar

thinks I’ve got a wind-up sexuality,
a tinny whine too quiet for this Saturday night
circus. I’m gay, I tell him, and he laughs with
such gunmetal I back away. The joke
is on none of us. He jams his hands
into his pockets, says Don’t you
think you’re missing out
? Meaning,
his cock and this never gets easier,
the cringe I try to tuck into a polite
smile and clenching keys in my fist
like a prayer to a God I forgot to believe
in til I needed something. How dare
there be air not destined for his lungs,
a song he doesn’t know all the words to?
How dare this body have a melody he can’t
take into his throat as his own; a language
that doesn’t need to be pronounced
to be heard?

for lee buencamino

“i part my lips in secret / glitter drips from the corners of my mouth”