what’s the harm in
letting your toes wriggle
away from your shoes
& over the sudden edge
of a waterfall? painting
the town not in red but
in earth tones? saying no?
baking a cake with a boom-
erang in it? calling on pigs
to self-sacrifice for the greater
hood? skipping school
to play never have I never
with a garden gnome? Using
the singular they? sprinting
top speed toward a mountain
of marshmallows? rocking out
to the Pledge of Allegiance
on your knees? polishing
off a unicorn’s horn with a nice
Chardonnay? burning bridges
& buildings & monuments to
all manner of gods? Raising
a glass or a fist in the air, to
toast it all falling down? our
raging? our roar? your fear?

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JUBI ARRIOLA-HEADLEY (he/him) is a blacqueer poet, storyteller, & first-generation United Statesian whose work explores themes of manhood, vulnerability, rage, tenderness & joy. He’s a 2018 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow & his work has been published or is forthcoming in Ambit, Beloit Poetry Journal, Nimrod International Journal, People's World, & Southeastern Humanities Review. Jubi & his husband split their time between South Florida & Guatemala, and his first collection of poems, entitled original kink, drops this fall (October 2020) from Sibling Rivalry Press.

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