It was a strange place,
the territory I found myself in
after hearing This mall
is a faggot-free zone
through the mounted megaphone
of a passing pick-up. Like a faerytale,
where so often there is a hero
and a monster, an otherworldly thing.
I am not a hero. So, if I am a monster,
an otherworldly thing, let me be wondrous.
Let me be dangerous, a glamoured,
antlered, gilled, winged,
dancing so deep into the night
that only my bloodied feet
can remind me I am a body. As frightfully made
as the man in the pick-up believed.
That is to say, let me be everything
my father thinks of me.
Strong, in all the ways one can define strength.
Brave, so much more than I am.
Slightly damned, sure,
but so full of love that my teeth
cannot contain it.
Connor Nielsen was born in Warren, Ohio, on a late night in June in 1994, which makes him a Cancer. He doesn’t know if that’s important, but likes to think it is. His poetry has appeared previously in Write On, Downtown. He currently lives in San Marcos, Texas, and is enrolled in the MFA program at Texas State University.
Artwork: Jonny Ruzzo, Sometime After Midnight