An O

by Clae Rountree


put prim and proper the shakespearean “o” was not (necessarily)
read as oh

like when lady gaga goes oh oh oh oh oh in poker face is my ringtone so
all the world’s a stage when my father calls to decree
society’s s o o o o o fucked with all these skinny-jean-wearing faggots

speaking in third person to a second person
wearing skinny jeans is an o so classic maneuver of words
u could call him shakespeare

the o rather is pronounced as any sound
like a burst pipe down the throat spilling out like o shit
he said the condom broke but don’t panic this fag’s on PrEP and
my white father built the pipeline

everything was just fine pre-exposure
now every o is merely the sound of a closed fist
and every page a dry wall

now i’m positive
i’m done being angry the second i read tommy pico’s nature poem
it felt like fucking
medicine but i know he’s been wearing skinny jeans for like centuries and today
          is the first time
i’m choking on the word post-colonial
                                                               as in pre-exposure







as a gay white guy why do i feel entitled
to be s o o o o o dramatic
forever and always fucking

always like what if how i settle in daily life
is settled in my way of settling as in like
sure i guess i could add another line here
call me a settler as i still settle on stolen lands

and again
and again and
again and again as in

o                tommy pico was right
a word really does hold the past of itself






again and again and again as in stop callin stop callin i don’t wanna talk anymore
or i / was born this way baby / am gonna finally hang up on him
let myself cry when lady gaga dies / i mean

settle as in write a poem mentioning a pipeline rather than put my body on the line
          to stop line 3
settle as in o my gahd why do i take up so much space / on the page
settle as in curtains down now /

n o!


i will keep writing / now imagine an alternative way /
to admit that i was settling for spewed words this entire time

all i wanted was to be held and kissed by a father.


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