is that how it began? the fishing hook in your finger produced a scream and a sniffle hung you to bleed out upside down on your father’s pointed witness [a second barb on the self-same hook]: don’t be such a suck or was it your brother’s submission holds that placed you in the court of the grand inquisitor where you suffered collosal clutch or camel clutch and no offer of clemency for a crying soul at the sporting end of a bully pulpit? man up, little ‘bro or was it auntie jilly who popped a boob [her words not mine] and invited you to fondle and squeeze through tears and unassigned signs on a fluid roadway whose solid yellow line produced two directions and no passing? only a pedobar wouldn’t like these puppies or was it the good summaritan two doors down who raised a tent pole in your bunk while you pretended to sleep on that lonely planet where permafrost starts skin-level and runs miles deep? get on to walmart and I’ll neighbour the boy or were you cursed by the sorcery of driveby tweets and snapchats [machine gun shots of birdsong and schoolyard play] when you were crowned queer of the year by those who gender orienteer without a moral compass? nice tights, Robin - kapow! zok! whamm! or were you a casuality of the anthropocene a furry, feathered or ectothermic creature sacrificed to timber, oil, plastic, oxycodone backstage climate changes, toxic hand sanitizer failed immunity masks or CGI micro-implants right off the chip truck? technology describes a boy that doesn’t work yet or were you mulling the fact that mom kept mum as you lay prostrate on that pre-op slab animal skin on your loins moon in eye blood of thousands temple torn and a stone scapel in your hand to reverse cut the word freak into your abdomen? is that how it began? ----
Dean Gessie is an author and poet who has won dozens of international awards and prizes. Among recent honours, Dean won the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award in England, a Creators of Justice Literary Award in New York, the COP26 Poetry Competition in Scotland and the UN-aligned Poetry Contest in Finland.