By Moses Jeune

Palm Harbor: 1am

It’s not that I aim to be sad in Florida

It’s that Florida doesn’t want to see me happy

This apartment

these walls- carry too much 

the weight of loss

My innocence still lingers in the air here 

There

on the window sill 

and in the picture frame

Behind the lamp

But not the dingy sink

Or the bathroom mirror 

where I had to look at myself wash the sin off

Or the memories acrid as the bedspread 

Searching for sleep away from the bodies that kept me up and erect at night

I used to leave the front door a little open at 1 am with so much shame in my gut and

so much fear in my bones that I shook 

Shook myself into a false confidence that made me move forward

Every shake meant another step 

Another step towards another man 

Another man who and where and whom

I had no answer to what could happen

in the dark of night

When no one else is around

I don’t want anyone to know who I am when no one else is around

Because I don’t want to know me either

That person makes a lot of mistakes in order to repeat them again

No,not me

They are my shadow 

One light

My breath gets caught

taking in the humidity

as man takes me into their mouth 

When I’m in Florida I’m afraid I’ll lose myself again

In man, in mouth, inside

And yet I come back anyway

Choking

Moses is an artist, writer, and entertainer who recently  graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2020. Their work ruminates on identity and their relationship to love, sexuality, gender and their black queer experience. Their website is mljeune.myportfolio.com and their Instagram is @versaceshortie

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