Juana Attempts an Abecedarian

and "Self-Portrait as Tear in Tympanic Membrane on the Bus From San José to San Isidro"

Juana Attempts an Abecedarian

After Alex & Amauta’s ant-ridden apartment in New York, I get

Back on the busy-bodied bus, only to find busy-bodied bed bugs on the bottom of the seats

Cruised by cock-eyed cockroaches in the crevices of said seats. My

Dear girlfriend on the phone—self-described dykeling (a baby dyke by decided definition)—

Ever the elegant one, tells me to eat them. & I,

Forever the faggot (in the formal sense), forgot my fork in the fake-

Granite kitchenette of the gay AirBNB on Greene.

Hell is a bus ride back to D.C.        & entering the city limits

ICE has set up five check points.

Juana, Qué heavy eres.                   The movie          

Kika is playing on the Zenith at home & a guy on Grindr responds kk when I tell him.

Loveable Top is his headline & he’s into Latins. I think FedLoan wrote that in a letter last week.

My mother messages me that she’s a martyr, but she’s just manic today. Breaking news:

Nine nuns had the nerve to die in a bus crash in Costa Rica. No one knows their names. Maybe

Octavia, Ofelia, Olivia, Orquídia, Orlanda, Olimpia, Oracia, Olvidada, or Dolores.

Presently I can’t find my own pills; prolonged pain is prescribed, I suppose.

Qué heavy eres, Juana.                       Loveable Top comes over. His real name is

Richard, but says to call him Ricardo (remember, he’s into Latins). He sips at me,

Slides into me & smiles, his

Teeth are too-many teeth tethered to two of my tongues (one to talk, the other to taste)—being

Under him is what I most understand, which is understandable.

Villains are villainous & will do what villainous things villains do in the dark.

Washing up afterwards is the worst. Water is such a wasted thing.

Xanax will do the trick, Loveable Top writes once he’s home, the Grindr ping a xylophone note.

Y didn’t you tell me / you could’ve just told me / wyd tomorrow           All I can do now

Is mute the Zenith, lick its static, glue my tongue to the glass & pray.

Self-Portrait as Tear in Tympanic Membrane on the Bus From San José to San Isidro

Tiana wonders why I’m cupping my head
Like someone who’s protecting himself from drills
& I tell her there are drills

In the stillness
of this bus
so packed we’re jealous of sardines.

Driving downwards at 100 kmph changes pressure
As fast as it can change gears—

There’s a reason why people chew gum.

Pressure is a musician who hits his instrument too hard.
& an ear drum is too thin a thing to be hit.
& pain is too great a thing to be played.


I never knew ears could open into mouths
Of rivers; that a drum is a dam
& the canal functions just like any other.

Hearing is a saint at a loss for words
Canoeing on a river towards a cliff, prepared to fall
Into a silence as dense as death.

& arriving, San Isidro is silent.

Cars are so courteous they don’t honk.
Coconut vendors whisper their machetes.

A believer shoves a brochure into my hand
Because she knows I’ve been wandering deaf
For years.

Two Poems

A nickname for God: The Lord Elephant. Lord mule.
Lord’s acres. Hospital Lord. Texas for God Alabama.
God’s sea of blue tarps.

Daydreaming of Chris Hemsworth

Coarse sheets, rose quartz on an altar. None of this belongs to me. / Rain softens everything outside, white flowers become foam. / You cleaned yourself with my shirt.

Notes on Blackouts

I look out the window at our once-bustling city that is now stuck in a perpetual state of Sunday. It’s only been six months since our microwave died, but we’ve both aged so much more in that time span.
“It’s not safe,” I say.