Charles McGregor

There is nothing to do/For our liberation, except wait in the horror of it.
-John Ashbery, "They Dream Only of America"

I want it slant.
All I can see is the shadow of people

dancing in film
projected on cave walls
until I forget who I am.

A comedian? A victim? A photo-
shoot? The gays
are so shady—

we have to be. This image
is a symmetrical brand
putting boys in their cubbies,

girls in their cubbies—
build more cubbies.
They'll play along

with fluid genders,
it'll just be a lot
of restrooms. I don't like numbers.

How dull to be convergent
folding yourself into a hole—
that splendor of a crevice

with its rococo statues
and the presumption
that I will be lavish.

I will slip into lisps, gaze
at furniture, know antiques
too well to fit inside

the cis male bust—
a Roman precision,
an aggressive empire.

My brand was given to me—
an activist pacifist, a holo-
-gram of the man.

Charles McGregor is an MFA alumnus from the University of Texas-Pan American and will be teaching at Palo Alto College in the fall of 2015. His poetry, often dealing with queer issues, can be found in modest literary magazines such as Xenith, Enhance, No Infinite, Boundless, Portland Review, and The Missing Slate. Follow him on Twitter @CMcgregor209.

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