Genelle Chaconas

Posted on May 29, 2017

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Editor’s Pick

Strip

The slot in the black door. In one of the many velvet imagination closets. Sometimes you imagine yourself as series of caverns of unfulfilledness darkness. You can hold the oceans of space inside. And be filled. The solid gravitation. Black water unrippled as the dark moon. Sometimes you have imagined yourself an alien landscape. As a breathless pressure. Sometimes you have thought of yourself as movements with no figure at motion. As the soft liquid space between one grip on the steel pole and another. Lifting, twisting, turning, flashing. Making it look like ease. Like giving flesh. Like a squid as it breaks water and beaches on the sand to suffocate. You once saw a series of photographs. A naked figure running on a road. The purpled pursed skin alive with napalm before it falls. You asked yourself where it was between the shutters. When the eye closed and opened again. The man behind the door unseen. The contours of his face melted together. Only the glistening points of his pupils. Wet as bullet holes in a corpse left to ooze in the sun. The sound of his wet breath. Like a piston striking oily soil. Once you feel that heat on your face. Cigars whiskey and rot. Once he jerks his face left. He is younger than the others. That thin nimble bridge of his nose. His brow furrowed in concentration. One fine spider crack wrinkle caresses the side of the porcelain forehead. Once you laid on a mattress in a hostel hostile hotel too weak to resist on the staircase. A spider web somewhere high above higher than a ceiling can be watching through the green velvet shade. Silver sheet caught in the draft the weft warp bend blow like the skeleton of a dead cosmos. The hollow starvation of his high cheekbones. Elegant and desecrate as steeples. Once you saw a film of a stained glass ceiling blossoming up as cluster bomb hit. This screech of light bounced into the sky. Like the sun broke. And fell in pieces to the earth. One cheek hastily shaved, still stubbled. Your thighs clench. Your joints stiffen. Your insides warp with heat. All the hair. From the soft invisible ones on your belly to the rough ones on your crotch. Raise in unison. He twists back again. You have no name for that barely seen shape. For that pale expanse between the steel slats. And the flashing thrust of long. Not the dead commands like commadants. Not the silent commands perform and do. Sometimes you imagine yourself in a dead statue garden. These faces landscapes racing past the bus window shadow leaves dazzling your hallucination eyes as you entered Plague City. And dream that fraction of flesh. Before the door metal door slides shut again. A bead of sweat runs from his forehead down his face. Catches some errant tone of light. He opens his mouth to speak. But it closes and he is gone before you hear him.

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Genelle Chaconas is genderfluid, queer, feminist an abuse survivor, and proud. They earned their MFA in Writing and Poetics from Naropa University (2015). Their first chapbook is Fallout, Saints and Dirty Pictures (little m Press, 2011). Their work is published or forthcoming in Primal Urge, NAILED, The New Engagement, A3, Sonora Review, Fjords, WomenArts Quarterly, Jet Fuel Review, Milkfist, Menacing Hedge, Image OutWrite, Bombay Gin and others. They enjoy schlocky gangster flicks, cheap takeout, noise music, lowbrow art, the cut up technique, queer writing, and long walks off short piers.

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