Jen Coleman

MY QUEER SHOULDER                                                


You wanna talk dichotomies? My blood-marked
work shirt. Expensive rings. Someone decides
to trade poems for machines,

demands we cut
the platinum tubes into hand-mangling little circles
that, once smoothed, will glorify

the unscathed fingers of the rich. This stark

division’s loyalties blur into hours
of imagined obligation. Delusion’s scarred
into our psyches, stalks liberation

with absurd, grating joints. The factory
guys work and get drunk, work
and get drunk—how else to bear the years

of dazing labor, closing in

like an unremarkable grave? Doctor,
the needle please. Just jab my socket, bone,
vagus nerve; I’ll cringe and thank you

for this slow-hearted excuse, this release
from money’s deafening, sick
metallic screech. Inject

my stupid skeleton, send me steroidal into the snow.

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