By Britt McGillivray
this morning a meme queen reminds me we are living
in a hot catastrophe. i’d been dreaming
about an island lover a small puddle away,
then woken by propane tanks exploding fire
in next-door’s tent city. where i live, we were in crisis long before
this. indoors i receive 2D dispatches, pull myself through
the endless scroll: bad news, baby, good news, dog.
slow-build cries of freedom from the vaccinated crowd. a pomegranate,
split just so in a drippy palm. where i live, we’ve been eyes cast up
and chins tucked down. masked indifference to ‘save’ our ‘souls’.
this morning a meme queen reminds me: when the world ends
grab for whoever makes you happy. they took the quote from O’Hara
in times of crisis, yada yada. i de-seed a pulsing pomegranate.
what do you call an unending interruption? limbo,
bardo; a sad sabbatical, turned normal. i double-tap a crisis, offer an orange
heart to a public miscarriage, twenty more dollars to mutual aid.
look! more pals engaged, island lover blinking, hot sun hitting
face. more touch, deferred. i thumb a gender bomb i don’t believe in,
identity derailed by blast of parental well-meaning. my face burns pink.
my veins throb blue. i had decided who i love, this juice
drips from knee to tile floor, again and again, more stains to clean
i tried, meme queen, my decision just didn’t want me. bad news, baby.
where i live, we learn to look away. i close my eyes, see speckled
skin, a welcome face. pulp slipping through a ripe, plump
laugh. i backtrack through rupture, thick and brutal. then, somehow,
passed. a fruit plate, some apple stars. the future
halved, in separate palms. bleeding out. split, just so.
a meme queen reminds me: we still live in a hot catastrophe.
yes, but we’ve been dreaming
a way out
Britt McGillivray is a poet from Vancouver, BC. Their work has been published or is forthcoming in Contemporary Verse 2, emerge, Room Magazine, SAD Mag, SFWP Quarterly, and Subbacultcha. They recently founded a publishing project for queer writers and artists. A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio, they are currently completing their first full-length collection of poetry.