beloved(s)! plz clink ur glasses w/ me!
today is my 25th birthday. today is always my last birthday. today is X-mas. today is Yom Kippur. today is
Columbus Day. today is a day of celebration. how else to consider life w/o joy? no. ur probs right: the big dipper is scoopin all the stars 2nite & y’all don’t wanna get gobbled up. got all these fireworks tho & no sun to blow em up w/.
so we (me & my boo); we love each other, rite? yuss. i’m all about he/him/his. how he’s up against my neck like kudzu to brick, how i’m up w/ him jammin to girl pop in his station wagon till 3am, how his tongue is not forked but kinda sporked & y’all don’t even know the bites he takes w/ it.
do y’all want love the way i do? cuz i’m all for this shit. look at what it’s done 2 me. makes me want to sing. makes me want to want. makes me clasp Sweet Tart bracelets to my wrist, nibble at my sugar. yeah. have y’all seen my dimples lately? fuckin apostrophes of sparkle.
there’s a party goin on in my sternum when i swallow seedlings. i’ll stick a flashlight in my mouth. photosynthesis! got my teeth yearning like a pothole waiting for rubber. isn’t every sound a kind of celebration? beloved(s), plz listen. i learned this one in school. u put a Mento into a 2 liter of Coke. the Coke fountains into an ecstasy of sputter & bubble & fizz.
but not everything has to end in epiphany. my spider plant just fuckin died. that’s it. not because of anything. well, probs cuz of something. do y’all see me calling it a godsend? a curveball? a thunderbolt of revelation?
so we’ve got all this communion & nothin 2 do w/ it. a disappointment is a synonym for wrinkles. love me some wrinkles tho. love me some disappointment. cuz it means there’s a hill in front of me. look at me go up. y’all, i hated racing my sis down the sand dunes growin up. i’d crash & burn & smolder & ash & dissipate. my grandma’s funeral was not a funeral. the invitation read “a celebration.”
wtf did that mean, beloved(s)? we keep thinkin about life & i just want to think about how she’s dead. or she’s passed. or she’s gone. we on this tangent coaster now w/ all these synonyms strung up like multi-colored holiday lights my dad used to hang up around the gutters. we’d ride by the nicer neighborhoods & guffaw in awe @ their museums of light. how they’d capture wonder in a bulb, blow-up snowman, & celebratory electric bill. eureka!
beloved(s), there’s no correct way to love, but there’s a correct way to love me. yeah. u know. it’s w/ y’all in my room, watchin Jason kill horny teens. i’ve got all y’all in my arms like the epilogue of all onesies. i’m screaming at the jump scares & the terror makes me smile. look @ us. all our lil crescent moons belly up. we’re a cacophony of syllable. an alarm wanting joy. we’re so empty the only place to yell our want to is the night sky. maybe some scantily clad deity clubbing up there is lapping up our love like ecstasy. cuz it is. cuz god thinks he can just saunter in & say all our love has limits. guess we’ll have to keep fighting him on this one. cuz we’re never full, & we want it all.
Liam Strong (they/them) is a queer neurodivergent cottagecore straight edge punk writer who has earned their BA in Writing from University of Wisconsin-Superior. You can find their poetry and essays in Impossible Archetype and Emerald City, among many others. They are most likely gardening somewhere in Northern Michigan.