Catapult | Poetry

Dark Blue

turn me into a place like home to you. / Say my name like the stars and / Let’s go out tonight.

Catapult magazine · Listen to Kelly Xio read this poem

Dark Blue


I am God’s selfie and you are the best angle
we are an infinite attempt
 at something better and
worse than the present

I’m serving Divine as Jackie O
My look tonight is Mahogany
My look tonight is the wet tip of Lily pistils
It’s Cinderella’s Prince trying on the shoe
Going for Naomi Campbell after last call ordering
 onion rings at Uni Mart

carefully, earnestly, so full of hope
 Mother hopes I will outlive, bury her
I tell her I’m neither rose nor shovel 

 I M O 

Everything seems a funereal reminder we
are breathing rare air. Everything is a reminder:
 at cockcrow I touched the back
 of your hairy kneecap (so soft)
My spit dried on my pillowcase.

said it was an ugly, sad thing
I asked if I could call my pelvis a grave. 

didn’t think twenty odd years later
 one text message would pull the stitches apart 

 The nurse checked my pulse and wasn’t
 convinced until she heard the noise in my lungs 
 heard me scream into existence.

I want bright light
 and twinkling infinity 

before a sudden explosion.

The stars we see at night are in past tense.

The stars seem to live forever
they’re mortal too.

Photograph of us tonight
will be past tense in the morning.

turn me into a place like home to you.

Say my name like the stars and
Let’s go out tonight. 

DJ doesn’t take requests but
makes a point to take mine:
DJ play that song,
All I wanna do is: gunfire, cash register
because I will dance till the roof, till the roof—

The house lights come on
 The party dies and it’s not the
 whiskey that makes me stagger
 it’s not desire that makes me linger

Mama, I’m not coming home
I’ll be here on the dance floor.
DJ played that song and in that moment
I was not so alone and forever is
a boy with blue skin, in dark blue suit
 hand-rolling tobacco.

before the long grind:
Yes, ma’am— 
Spit in my mouth and leave 10%
 On the check if I cough.
Of course, sir,
 America was great sometimes,
 Yes, customer’s always right but
My feet hurt worse in Danskos
 than dark blue pumps
 and America is better with
 glitter spread on her hairy upper lip.

Yet when I enter the club 
you will suffer when you see me
in the place I belong.

Nowhere is sacred
and so everywhere is church;
bullet through your old testament
semi-automatic muffled by top 40
 Collapse Adam’s kingdom
Flames eat ribs
 and leaves sand
 instead of ash.


just once and want to open my heart
and let him live there but only if he’ll open
 all the windows
 and let the sun shine into my chest
 and warm my heart
 and warm the soil until I bloom again