Paris is Burning

Grace Schauer

Queer Is...

          after the film

Drugs being just a side-effect of modernity, let's call
the following true: say bodies really are cathedrals
to something holier than themselves, gleaming white
and immaculate from every virgin orifice.  Why not? 
(Say it's not rash to ask this silly a perfection of anything.) 
You buried yourself in costume, the self an ill fit,
now your skin’s foil-thin and laid like newsprint over the bones. 
There may be a message somewhere in this.  Say
when you die you crumple in my hands like old flowers—
exactly that way.  Say your comeuppance leaves you chastened,
as gratefully diminished as the grape-stained Sunday crowd. 
Say, I swear it: if you argue burnt sinuses and nosebleeds
are a bum's communion, let God's be the face reflected
when the whole world begs to differ.   

Grace Schauer holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington.  A Florida native, she grew up outside Washington, DC.  Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares and Breakwater Review, and she has written for Redivider.  She lives and works in the Boston area.