How can you write about queer poets, you said, you’re not even queer— as if I were an arrow in your quiver, as if I were dead delphinium. You hated that your doctor told you lose weight and made you feel disgusted by your body; in the afterlife, you will not bear your target, and I will meditate on a cloud, painting my nails above a desert, an auburn stretch stolen from those who dreamed this fantasy of where we exist. You lit up the morning with your aura, like a moon in day, connecting to each need; in photos, I see the hospital lights glaring off your head; scar of a metal rod in your leg; but you are smiling. And I am opening like the bark off white oak. — Dan Kraines holds a PhD in poetry from the University of Rochester. His dissertation is entitled “Queer Longing: Figuration in Rich, Lorde, Gunn, and Bidart.” Other poems of his have appeared in The Adroit Journal and The Normal School, among other places. He teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Artwork by: Danielle Rangel

How We’re Seen

by Dan Kraines

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