Brody Parrish Craig

              for Ballinger & Arkansas HB1986
picture this
the phone’s tied up
to my body & yr call
yr legislator calls
my body legislation
territory to exploit explore
& skin border to picket
our flesh a fence we can’t kick down
& a tension rod keeps building
a dark curtain in the photo booth
we call the state of Arkansas
Arkansas a heavy weighted
boxer of the bathroom & the men
that wish to catch us inside press
the buttons on our shirts cover the “issue”
with a magazine with gloss or with a cloth
but we will not be your paper dolls to rag on
it’s traditional down south to cover mirrors
up for death is but a threat an envelope
you sunk our bodies in sealed with a kiss
sing booth & box & legislative rag
a rag
(a ritual my family taught
for covering untrusted mirrors)
the dust of angels on hir dress
as they address hir as a demon
if i decently expose
the album of my body
the x-ray photographs
of broke white bone
of taking care
of business
to me I’m angry & I am
an x-rated equation
you say you don’t need
my exponential fury
as I’m criminal
(this insane device
you choose to plot
appeal on) dig me in
a gravel road a grave
state of the union marry
magdalene with footwork
with christs sake name with gospel spell
you cast me out & cast your goons
on us & which strange man
will hurl
their power law or suit into me or the grl I hurl
into the toilet with my dick stalled up beside you &
I wonder can I throw up stream
of last nights supper in your bathroom
without a stranger claiming that I lack
shift gears & “wait for rights
at the right time” // “we’ll get our bodies back
together on the other side of Arkansas” //
that tired line for sitting still
for shitting on our shutter
bug look at the lens the scope
the micro & the macro
aggression here I shudder to think of living
in this object dream (sickle, hammer, “simmer
down” with cis)–stem is to pumps I wear
& stem is to the grass we rooted in
I bet you know the bill of right wing
is a dollar bill we curled & burned
the face of precedence he cowered
under the table cloth & curtain
scrap–a bone to pick clean as
a whistle–whistle blower–blow
off steam & body heat without
their hesitation &
the infiltration
of the water works & will I even cry
against your heavy curtain
your photo booth your spectacle
your third right
rings “nothing left
to do but cross
your fingers”
throw a rock
& roll of toilet paper chain of dolls & seams
down into a dark room
into a cell
into a cistem
into a cistern
for your crude poster
& the only threat we pose
is calling you out as a card
player gambling trans
as coin as ante
up & bellum offering
us as a portion for
the foxes for the prey
in christsakes name
we will be for
saken & stakes you raise
will never fork the road
I travel on I walk on
wager water works I bet
your bottom dollar bill & house
hold income traffic if I’m hit
then you’re the road killer
of deity of agency of every
not for me You knot the rope
& dangle apple for the xtian’s hoarse throat
& picture taker what child’s this
but a body coined as worthless
you kill us off as predatory
& watch folk buy the body
for a small town natural
history museum
we are taxidermied
tears of holy water
running engine
“don’t blow this
out of proportion”
              –fuck your frame & save your grace.
Raised in Louisiana, Brody Parrish Craig is a graduate of Hollins University & the MFA program at University of Arkansas. He is the co-founder of Intransitive, a group seeking trans liberation in the NW Arkansas region. Brody Parrish’s poetry has appeared in OCHO, Rattle Poets Respond, and TYPO. As a recovering addict & recovering Baptist, his work seeks to queer language & create space for queer identities within the South.

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