Take a Bow, Gas Station Drag Queen

Two poems from PIG by Sam Sax

Take a Bow, Gas Station Drag Queen

Portrait of Drag Queen with a Pig Nose

behind the gas station the queen begins facing away from the crowd.
low cut back, floor length gown. pulses a knee to the music,
arm on hip, believable human silhouette. i should know this song.
the rest of the audience sings along, lit by a rented spot.
bride to tires and oil. centuries pass as she turns slow as a planet
with all us dying on it. the reveal, below the veil, her silicone snout,
scarred and profound. hybrid thing. elegant-bidpedal-terrifying. think
monster but make it fashion. think what monsters go into making
fashion. we gasp at the temporary godhead standing before us,
the promise of all our science inside one passable prosthetic.
in a laboratory in california scientists inject human stem cells into a pig
fetus & for four weeks it lives. miss vice, you are the perfected form
of all our darkest literatures smiling. you are the language we’ve been
looking for when we say we need a new language. darkness dragged,
bathed in light. the song ends. she sniffs. collects her tips.


Quarantine a Deux

a new app tells us whether it’s safe to breathe
i haven’t been outside in weeks
afternoons, sunbathe on the living room floor
beneath the barred windows
it’s grown sepia out there
a filter descended over the true face of the world
the little man in my phone’s purple today—wears a gas mask
recommends not riding a bicycle
i wipe ashes from my packages
my mail carrier says it’s the end of the fucking world
if anyone, he should know: neither snow nor rain nor heat
nor gloom of night  
almost two and half millennia ago we split brussels,
broccoli, kale, collards, kohlrabi, all from the same wild cabbage
such imaginations humans have
it’s a miracle life existed here at all
long as it has

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