sadcore & sleepless by Michael Russell

pause     obsess     rewind

porn star Calvin Banks
kneeling     leaning 
back     his hips 
bounce like a buoy
caught in a tidal wave
of cock     muscle     curls

oh     Calvin
when you study 
your reflection     do you 
worship the striations
in your chest? abs
that cut & push
through the amniotic 
sac of your skin? 

my goodness 
you’re standing
at the intersection
of twink & hunk
a twunk     not yet
an otter but
furred enough to lay 
my head against 

& purr     Calvin

i can’t tell you 
how long it’s been 
since i last saw a man
undressed     chest full 
of working organs & breath 

i’m not going to lie
the biggest turn on 
might be that you’re alive     
flexing your mouth into an O
& sucking 
the sweet tea of oxygen

pause     what’s that 

sound in the background? 

muffled & bleeding 

through the aluminum throat 

of a heat vent     toneless 

& distant     the repetition 

of a news broadcast     stop 

mute     rewind

                                 the truth is 
                                 there never was
                                a supervillain

                                 only cops
                                 who can’t stop 
                                 lodging bullets

                                 into black bodies 
                                 trans bodies
                                 the mentally ill

                                 systems of politicians 
                                 & corporations
                                 who profit off

                                 the well oiled
                                 of working bodies     

                                 bolted & screwed            
                                 by the limited warranty  
                                 of their youth

                          dear Reader

                          i haven’t showered in a week
                          i can’t sleep & my nose stings
                          from the mozzarella stink 
                          wafting my armpits

                          i’m tired
                          of digging graves
                          under the strained heartbeat of rain 
                          the unclosed porn tabs 
                          that penetrate the 3am silence

                          i hate it     everyday
                          i turn further away 
                          from this world
                          bury my face in the brass 
                          echo of a hot guy
                          fucking an even hotter guy
                          on PornHub

                          veins like barbells 
                          the blood wiring 
                          of a supercut of muscle     
                          abs chiseled into pixels 
                          biceps     triceps     pectorals
                          oiled in cum & sweat

pause     obsess     rewind


         if you had my number
         would you shoot me a text?

         even though all i have 
         are terrible jokes about my libido 

         climbing thirty stories
         then plummeting

         into the summer pavement
         of a Lana Del Rey song

         quick     does my pussy 
         still taste like Pepsi

         cola? or has it gone flat?
         stirred itself into liquid

         sugar? come on 
         play     i’m desperate

         for a landslide of laughter
         the way your eyes roll back

         whenever i say something 

Michael Russell (he/they) is the author of chapbook Grindr Opera (Frog Hollow Press). He’s queer, has BPD, Bipolar Disorder and way too much anxiety. His work has appeared in Arc Poetry MagazineHeavy Feather ReviewSICK Magazine among other places. He lives in Toronto and thinks you’re fantabulous.