THANK YOU FACEBOOK
for reminding me that seven years ago,
I wore a vintage cheerleader uniform
without a shirt underneath, to show off
my collarbones, giving myself
a nipple rash that lasted for weeks.
Thank you for reminding me that,
even in those moments, doing
choreographed dance routines
with boys also dressed in vintage
cheerleader uniforms, I was still
a faggot to them. After the game,
they could take their uniforms off
and I could not. The rash runs deep.
Seeing the photo now as a
“flashback memory” is maybe
the first time I’ve seen an image
of myself from those years,
high school, early college,
Are you okay?
Are you eating?
Stomach full of cold air,
walking home from everywhere,
afraid of the dark, passing cars.
The night of the big game,
boys as cheerleaders, girls
as players, another kid
on the makeshift squad
offered me a ride home.
I got in his truck. He said
eye contact while driving
was weird. We looked at
the road. He said he was
hooking up with a guy
for the first time, someone
older. We looked at the road.
I think I said, Be safe. I think
I said, He sounds wonderful.
I think of the moment now,
night road ahead, him in my periphery,
nervous, pulling into my driveway,
me getting out, saying thank you,
goodnight, raw rash on my chest,
heartbeat beneath, not alone.