Protect private parts with a big
male hand. Imagine changing head
garb, disguising children
you don’t have. Take a Xanax.
Don’t speak—suck oppression
second-hand from a safe distance.
Imagine new dark days,
shirts ripped, wine bruises.
Bend for the man—under Ryan’s
Reagan-blue eyes scour skin not likely
burned or flayed. His look, like yours—
water-logged, drink wet crocodile salt,
peel leather back from a whip-welt.
First publication: Indolent Books, Transition Poems, 2016