I Smell Something Rotting and I Think It’s Me

in the hotel the elevator opens to each floor:
parts each row of teeth in / my mouth / opens /
into rooms / we leave the room / we enter the elevator,
parking garage, basement: i dangle my keys in front of yr
teeth / the hotel swallows my keys / in the car / you
open yr mouth / in our hotel room / i defang the
bed / i’m lying on the floor / you lied to me, you
don’t know how to drive: you lied to me, you
lied / next to me, in my car / in the hotel /
in(n) my mouth / we slide out / on-tour
again / car-nap again / i lose my keys in yr
mouth / i declaw myself / i trust you again: in
each room we wrap up a plot / ripped-up astroturf /
rock-glass / locked-box / a page burned until it looks
like a flag / my mouth: sanitized: sanctioned: again,
we dirt up the sheets trying to make ourselves clean,
until: i’m pressing my forehead into the window, until: you
ask me to dance, so: the city glitters like an all-teeth
guilt / it doesn’t matter which city: it doesn’t matter
which elevator: i hold my breath / so i can listen
to yrs / sweating into a set of seats / eating
my keys / off the parking-garage floor:
lying / on / to / a machine: i think i
will remember the way you
looked leaving / me / until
they wring me blank:

Don’t Call Me Kid / Don’t Call Me Baby
After Taylor Swift; to be read down seperately, and then across (contrapuntal)

There Is Not a Person Alive Who Expects Me to Be on Time to Anything

at jobs i’ve been fired and fired and when they do this
they say if it was only the lateness we could ignore it
but its everything else
and i do not respond if only you knew
what i’ve done to actually deserve a severance
even my
best-friends white-lie to spark me out of bed, to centrifuge
my skin as only someone who also sleeps in their work-shoes
can understand and i get it its easier to disallow my involvement
than to accept my price with its autonomous begging my
voice shattered over a unique song my hands grabbing
at everything all at once, too quick for a boss to notice but
not soft enough that i’m not snitched on, and that’s where
i hollow out my excuses, its not worth my energy to lie
about where my body’s been especially since you’ve been
there too and we see it in each other, a reckless yawning
where propaganda begs us into obedience, where i fall
through space and time and wake up on a couch some-
where i’ve never been before, where you ring up your
meal under a less-weighty morsel, where no one knows
the name the government calls me, where you hear it
snarled underhand and you forget it if only so later you can
stand at your mirror and convince yourself you’re not a rat.

Ezra Wade (fka L.R. Bird) is a transsexual criminal, interdisciplinary archivist, & encrypted cryptid residing on Stolen Lenapehoking. They used to be a professional something-or-other but are currently focusing on side quests. See Ezra in issue Ten.   WEB