Mannequins, in art deco gowns and turbans, faceless,
perfectly formed, pose between claustrophobic rows.
We look at pearl garlands, peignoirs, and buckle shoes
for Slizz Taylor and Judith Iscariot, our drag personas.
You grab mink stoles and opera gloves. Two turns and
snap. We laugh but, no, it wasn’t right. Though I felt
more masculine than usual in a navy cloche. I wonder
what my father would think, you ask eyeing a peacock
feather fan. He wouldn’t think he’d get a gun, I shout
from the dressing room, squeezing into a red cheongsam
afraid of my father’s fear: a man stomping the shit out of me,
blood rorschaching cobbles where my teeth bit, where
someone holds a Leviticus sign both of them have done
what is detestable. They should be put to death. Across
my breast, a dragon roars gold-trim flames. If I died,
I’d go down in this, armor-tight, clasping tiger lilies,
a soldier without country. Content in heaven’s back alleys,
I’ll watch others with twin faces, four arms and legs,
cartwheeling all their joy, and others scratching
their navels, that first scar, wishing their shadow selves.