i play this game with men where i ask are you my daddy and the men either say yes or fuck

me. very few times they have done both but fucking democrats is so high school so let’s just go with my original proposition; i play this game with men and they either say yes or fuck me. this game is often played at parties i circle my target and then i pounce i am a hunting machine a fuckingmachine and i cant get anyone to love me once they are inside me. im sure you love me enough without being inside me but whats the fun in that? its always about fun. when its not about fun its about death

anyway what im trying to say is i have this uncle and he’s a green beret veteran and two weeks after my mother is declared braindead i am on the phone with him because this is what we do now.  he asks if i want a handmade knife. he asks if i’d like it in pink. a punky transexual camp queen and a patriot walk into a bar and somehow the transexual beats him at his own game and he buys the transexual a beer this is my day dream i live it everytime i finger the grooves of the challenge coin i found in my mother’s things it’s a joke i tell when im getting high at her service. i ask him to make the knife look gothic. 

my sister and i sit on each side of the hospital bed in the icu. my mother’s body is warm but they made her that way with blankets hooked up to wires connected to more wires connected to her. the artificial heat of my mother’s body warms our hands from the unusually cool northern californian november air. her hands feel heavy under the weight of her half lifelessness. my mother’s best friend is a massage therapist and leads what my father refers to as her “healing hands’ up and down my mother’s body. she caresses serum into her face to keep her skin perfect like it always was. she offers to cut a lock of my mother’s curls. i do it myself, carefully searching for my favorite curl, feathering the scissors so i leave no i do not think she would mind

i have manic episode and call dante so we can go to the mall so i can get a new cologne. i spend 300 dollars on this endevour. dante cheers me on from the sidelines and we gawk at coach bags and loewe coats in the window and spend too much money on camo abercrombie pants. the next day on the way out from dads house my cologne shatters and i fall to the ground dopamine deprived and wanting to die, my father says if i dont cry hed buy me a new one. i oblige. 

i play james taylor’s fire and rain as my father and sister stand in front of me with the urn that holds my mother. “and to the earth we shall return” my father says to us. the water wades the boat up and down along its surface, the sun’s reflection and refraction dancing against my mother’s ashes. the last time i saw my mother she was falling into the  san fransico bay like glitter and i didnt know why i felt so okay about it. 

i stare at the seattle skyline in a rented room as k gives me a hickey. its endearingly large.i nuzzle into k’s arm and kiss it up and down. he’s sipping water but his eyes dont leave me as im making my way to his chest and biting the hair that lives there i am consuming i am casting i am stealing hairs with my teeth to mix into my tea i am devouring it all without looking away. i love to make men moan with my eyes alone. it means ive won the game. k is facefucking me head between my legs my hands in his hair his tongue inside me he wants more so i give it to him. this is the image i keep returning to when i pray. 

i tell my cousin n i can only write in pretty places so he buys me a ticket when my train is canceled. n’s house is a mixture of midcentury modern and early punk aesthetics. there is an entire room for plants, a green velvet couch, a matching green recliner, a fixed-up hi-fi, and two large pin-up girl paintings over the fireplace, but no television. every wall is covered in framed art ranging from retro to gothic to oddities like his framed cat skull. he and i make altars of our abodes and yet nothing is held too dear, except for what is. 

when i hit n i meant to say i love you. it’s him who started the row. i stood no chance against a 40-year old skinhead navy man.i was pinned to the ground under his thumb by a pressure point alone and my body said i’m familiar with this love and i think that’s what scared him. i believe he almost sobbed with my head in his palms, firmly placed in his lap,  when he said,  “don’t let anyone lay hands on you and believe it’s normal”, n  tells me blood means nothing to him but holds me like im a fragile thing. 

my uncle never uses my name but talks to me about one of his children who was like me. he calls me baby and sweetheart when i cry, i am a delicate subject personified, a basket case transexual faggot and i tell him so too. im a faggot and i smoke capris. n tells me im too shock and awe. but what happens when you stop shocking and or awe-ing? this is what some might call bipolar twink death. 

i adorned rubber elf ears and my mother rolled her eyes but never stopped smiling we were her own little marx brothers, my sister and i we dance and sing and sometimes even spin: it’s a triple threat. my ears follow me everywhere along with a small stuffed devil named simon peter but his name is a secret so we just call him familiar. i wonder where he went sometimes. 

ive been thinking a lot about fun and therefore ive been thinking a lot about whimsy: a stuffed bird in caroline and rileys apartment, a pair of rubber elf ears, a porcelain kewpie baby from abbi thats alarmingly large. whimsy is anything fanciful like wearing a wedding dress to a 9 am lecture because i go to art school now and im doing an ‘art’ thing. wackadamia. sitting at your desk job in a tutu and teaching wearing a faux fur coat. you know… wackadamia! a chainmail headpiece that leaves a dark mask of black stains on your white collared shirts but its just so damn chic and now you know how joan of arc felt. i want whimsy in my days and games to play at night. i want a new way of thinking that takes the pain away.

n sings his folk punk like a sailors song as he cooks me dinner every night. i perch much like a cat on his kitchen island and smile my cheshire’s smile. sometimes i wonder if what brings us together is holy or profane. punk music feels like both. punk is like santa claus , it lives on in the hearts of those who believe and brother i believe in punk so sue me. sometimes i just want to fall into a mass and for that mass to be a person or people blaring speakers so my ears ring while my body descends into it. sometimes, n just wants to fight. i never wonder what brought us together.

my mother sent n his yearly supply of sees candies molasses chips and he never got around to saying thank you before it happened. my mother treated n like gold, my mother treated everyone she loved like gold we were her precious jewels her glass pumpkins my mother loved a delicate thing my mother had the magic touch she made plants grow full; her fingerprints are everywhere all around me; my sisters grief is enough for the both of us and i offer my altar for her sacraments. we cry alone. 

i hold my holy objects dear. my grandmother’s mirrored silver compact is engraved with her initials, we think it may have been a gift from her wedding day. i am very sentimental about the wedding relics, as was my mother. i think of marriage as the holiest of sacrements. quincey shines it for me, enough that i can see my reflection on its shell, and n gently glues the mirrors back in place as i watch from the kitchen island again, holding my precious heirlooms in a rubber bag. an onyx ring, the challenge coin, the pearls. i adorn them, i use them as decor, everything is an altar every church is filled with holy bones, this is my body. i hold my holy objects close then scatter them.

i have always known whimsy because i have always know frolicking (in my mothers garden you see) frolicking is inherently queer but theory is so dull but if you must know im thinking of muarice (1987) and by extension,  call me by your name ( 2017)  maybe even wilde (1997). i will never forget when anthony said of my work “i know how you know the references but you have to tell them that!” — i will tell you in part but the rest i keep for myself.

im easily eaten alive and my weakness is secrets; or rather the inability to keep them. i let them drool from my lips yet there is always a moral code im beautifying im pondering im sending warning signs how is the truth not fair. this is all to say this isn’t about secrets its about death and death’s secrets death is a portal into secrets there is no such thing as taking something to the grave when your mouth has moved all your life. i think everyone wants to die to be quite honest

i love you leaves my lips quite easily these days. i often have to stop myself from spilling onto people to soon, mom always said this about me, too much too soon, sometimes i fear my favorite type of love is the love no one else can give me but nor can i give myself this is a secret type of love one that lives in my head and often comes to mind when im praying this love could also be known as shame. i love yous are an abundance when every doorway belongs to death.

the game, by the way, does not always work at parties. the man from the cohort above me touches my boot and i think this must mean he is in love with me. “is this snake skin?”  an open couch appears and i invite him to sit in it (we create opportunities when we see fit) im dancing around it cause this one hurt it hurt to want to be wanted and then to not be wanted but maybe that want to be wanted was wanting for the simple act of wanting to be wanted. 

there is a certain defies-the-space-time-continuumness about me that really pisses some folks off but im attatched to my little whispers i enjoy my little spells i am frolicking and adventuring in  my mothers garden i am digging a hole to nowhere, deep. i ate dirt as a kid to return to something familiar i think. to swallow deep something whole. mother, earth. 

n pointed a knife at me. no, at himself, but the knife was in my hands he put it there and the knife is pointed at his chest his hands are wrapped around mine. this is what men always do they always cry kill me kill me and they know i will never do it i would never kill what once was mine. i grew up thinking all men wanted to die. 

someone at my mother’s funeral walks up to me and says that she’s been thinking a lot about organ donation. she asks how many organs my mother donated. she wants to know because she thinks its weird how my mother lives on in these people. that they have mama’s soul inside them and they dont even know who she is. i tell her it’s very metaphysical. i don’t believe she understood me. 

n gives me an ultimatum: either he will text me every day making sure ive taken my meds or we will never talk again. i was in a chaos state. im trying to calm down nowadays but the chaos sweeps through my system so naturally and nessels under the crook of my neck. i kiss it a tender and prolonged goodbye and dutifully swallow my pills. sometimes i feel dead. 

the priest observing my mothers mass was the pastor when i adorned my robes and played altar boy. it’s the first incantation i can remember:  casting my billowing couds of frankincense across the aisles and uttering my wishes of peace onto the congregation. the priest calls me by name and shakes my hand whispering welcome home so now i get to play prodigal son too. i’ve always believed in wild living, but this is a new type of baptism. it’s magic wears off on the plane home. 

i arrive home from n’s and pile into fiona’s car at the burbank airport. fiona invites me to a lesbian dj night and i decline, but we get taco bell and drive back to my place chatting about how cool my haircut is now. i tell them im happy to be in the company of someone who notices these things.  fiona and i walk up to my apartment to find a rectangular box. my knife arrived. i looked at the label. he sent it to solomon. 

Solomon Joy Leone @oscarsgonew1lde is a poet and writer based in Seattle, WA. Solomon Joy Leone holds a BA in Creative writing from Seattle University and an MFA from CalArts very dearly. Focusing on themes of desire, grief, and a constant conversation with the holy other, Solomon Joy Leone worships at many altars. Solomon Joy Leone is also a pop culture enthusiast, creative director for the independent newspaper the West Seattle Bridge, and was voted “most likely to crowd surf at their own ted talk” in high school. Solomon Joy Leone also loves you