Amy King


We are seeing a new regime,
old as history, breaking things.
Death and fascism are as inevitable as time: man-made.

So today I'm going to turn all 
I touch and think female.
This Starbucks? A girl.
The grade I'm about to record? A mother.
Her lesson is simple.

Become what is not promised 
as much as tomorrow is already here:
conquered and inevitable.

This home? Now everyone's. Self sacrifice 
to the point of depravity. Hysteria.
I do not exist. I no longer exist. 
Queer capitalist poet woman white middle aged: 
Which of these does not fit?
Which of these gets her in?

What of each of us does not belong?
Hyena, Medusa, Kali, witch?
Tear me to pieces so that I may become again. 

--On the occasion of pedophiles in politics

God's teeth are
ghost teeth
& there're holes
in the floor of
heaven tonight


The color of my mother's eye surgery 
has made looking directly at politics
again possible.

But I am on the other end of the spectrum
and cannot finish my soufflĂ© if I look 
for more than a minute at CNN.

Today my student asked me if life is death,
and I said life is forever dying
even after ever after we continue dying
until death is gone, but then last gasps
just like when we think of the anecdote 
with Sappho the time she invited her student
to an island and said, Listen. 

By which she meant live on through death
even in the fragments. 


In Chechnya today, there are no gay men.
They're sterilizing the scene
with the newest camps since 1943.
Families honor the purge with killings
of their kind.

This is not America
with its camps of choice
for those who would be sent
to kill the queer internal
to become family again.

In the 60s, the FBI conducted a manhunt
for "Dorothy" who was friend to every gay,
elusive though, they never put hands
on this organizer, never with her network of queers
always warning her one step ahead
of America's official intelligence community.

I'm sorry now, I need to recalibrate 
so that all of my dreaming is not imaginary.
The day is unfathomable even after 
it has happened. 
We are new times that are old times 
with different faces, different designations
behind walls behind bars beyond reach
in conversion camps watching the unicorn
made of shit that bites
ride where he rides.


The way the countryside isn't real
but is a monument between homes

At sea level everything seasons
to fine white grain
which makes the rain
rust skin

We decided on a bar of soap 
between us
My yes was fading fast
on the skin of song called us

The end is why we love the past,
why he loves to smoke 
his blue soul on the air 

Then the whiskey stare of an angry love,
death to me 
and life to the professor, the one who professes,
languishing in mysteries

I just sat there.
The fawn of winter 
wobbling in,

The stars, jealous, weeping.

Such small dots engulfed in vastness,
which is why we see them instead 
of the black. 

I ride sparrows to escape 
the light within.

A butterfly's heart powders
the fear of rejection empowers
as its political arm scrubs the internet,
China is becoming clearer

But the errors make us human.

Plot twist: we all die.
Plot twist: I'm a horse.

Death's defect: I laugh at the defect 
and death again, not because I'm unafraid
but because no one escapes.