December 7, 2023
Self Portrait as Failed Homosexual
I’m so good at pawing through guilt, so
good. There were men pecking down
the walls of the house with thin-tined
forks and so it wasn’t lonely, but now I
think anything could carry something
if the something were small enough—laughed
mail-slot-like, swore to pack the buzzing stomachs of
my atoms. But really—I’ve been
knocking on supporting beams like exhales, the unnamed
search in a calculus-world’s balance.
I’ve started naming the boy in my dreams Mario
because I don’t know what to call him,
call myself. It’s like this: an old, Antarctic burn:
the infirmities of whom I’ve loved. Guilt
is a hang-head thing—swear to it, smear it to
the back of my neck and the sweetness
throbs for hours.
ELENA FERRARI is a high school senior living on the East Coast. Her work has been recognized by the Poetry Society, Smith College, Susquehanna University, and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and is published or forthcoming in Eunoia Review, Blue Marble Review, Apprentice Writer, and elsewhere. When not looking at small things through microscopes, she can be found peering into a book or puzzling over force diagrams.