Brian Sonia-Wallace

bareback poetry for a prep age

Grab that chest fur.
Sit on that high school senior
who can prove he’s 18
when his mom’s not home,
comfort the attorney who can’t help himself,
the marine’s spit
still drying when his girl gets back –

It’s only 11am.

I zip my fly to play poet at a burlesque brunch.
Write erotica, they yammer,
as if that’s one thing.
But when I write sweat and saliva,
biceps and brutality, I can never be certain
if this a space is for nudity
or only nakedness.

As soon as the audience is drunk enough,
they leave.

Burlesque brunch is for married men and single women’s birthdays,
mirage of perky breasts and firm buttocks
for those who can look, but can’t touch,
and the drag queen folded in my brain says,
+++++++Sure, I’ll perform for you, but just
+++++++to remind you
+++++++that I, too, have power.

But even in this assertion of might,
there’s a core that remembers,
this world is not for us.
So the only way to be is to fight.

But – I’ve made a calling of chameleon, diplomat,
the dog rolling over to show his belly.

You don’t want the dog to have an erection,
do you?

Brian Sonia-Wallace, sometime poet, Writer in Residence for Mall of America, Amtrak Trains, the National Parks, and Dollar Shave Club. Seen skulking in the pages of The New York Times (“what secrets does he know that other writers do not?”) and The Guardian, infecting the Mississippi Review, HowlRound, LACMA Unframed, and LA County Arts Commission with his words. Search him out behind a typewriter at Google parties or Emmy screenings, making that cheddar, or teaching at UCLA (guest lecturer), 24th Street Theatre, or Get Lit.

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