Anthony Aguero

O These Titles We Inherit

The first email I created began with gettingspunky
According to a then-friend, this would be suggestive
To those I was mass-messaging through ads on
Craiglist in the Palm Springs area.
This would imply I’d be a thorn in the disguise of
A sweet dove. Or that I could write a proper
Sentence on the experience and, therefore,
Definition of grit: my nail-beds filled with the salt
And earth of a man’s spit. My nature is a hoe.
My thighs appropriate as a set of wings.
My body a thing you want to create word of.

The first time I swallowed a crystal in its entirety
I was sure that I could’ve offered you magic;
That my nights could’ve been spent with spells
And rebuilding the mysticism of my identity.
I spread myself towards the east and west
Wondering if I’d find myself back at home. I’d
Put on a variety of disguises: profile name(s),
Different email addresses, force the flush of my
Skin because of my back turned from the sun,
And how I’d demand to a stranger This is who
I am. The first onyx-horned creature scraping
Against a bathroom window. I smashed my fist
Into myself.

A man once spoke of my body in terms of gold
And worth. I remember not asking for a lot.
Just enough to get me home are my demands.
He suggested I was only a snake, so I bit his neck
Hoping he would be writhing at my power. Instead,
He moaned and buried my body under his weight.
O, these titles we inherit
When I submit myself as prey; as stranger in the
Cold crying out to the moon as to where I belong.

Anthony Aguero is a queer writer in Los Angeles, California. His work has appeared, or will appear, in the Bangalore Review, 2River View, The Acentos Review, The Temz Review, Rhino Poetry, Cathexis Northwest Press, 14 Poems, Redivider Journal, and others.

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Winter 2021