Someone asked what life as a queer person is like and I told them

by Arien Reed 

tomorrow is not a promise

but a threat rolled into a joint

whose paper has been worn

away by fingers that don’t own us

but will set us on fire anyway

as though burning is all a faggot

is good for—becoming a blackness

that can be ground underfoot

and forgotten, becoming smoke

and touching lungs that never

should have held us down, but

choosing, in the end, to become

the change we wished to see

in that person, or maybe just

returning to lips that never

should have swallowed us,

and vanishing.

About the Author

Arien Alana Reed, MFA, co-founded, and is currently the president of, the LGBTQ Allied Staff and Faculty Association at Fresno City College. His chapbook "The End" was recently unleashed on the world by Roaring Junior Press, his unpublished collections have been finalists for the Kore Press, Grayson Books, Press 53, and Inlandia poetry prizes, and his ravings and doodles have somehow found their way into Oberon, Florida Review, Sonora Review, High Shelf Press, J Mane Gallery, Allegory Ridge, and others.