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12th Edition Poetry- 12th Edition

when the twink and the butch get together over discord

Playing through an mp3 file on my old crappy laptop I got for free from my father, her voice transmits a signal of safety, of living with a stable internet connection, of being whole and happy in a stone cottage high in the mountains, surrounded by pine and earth. 

She sounds gorgeous, and I want to press my mouth against the microphone just to see if I can taste her lips through the Wi-Fi at my work that delivers her to me. I don’t see her face nearly enough, so I long for her in the empty spaces between vowels and consonants, hanging onto the smiles I can hear, the crinkling of eyes I swear emits via the soundwaves blasted from almost a thousand miles away. 

I don’t want to scare her with the ugly declarations of passion I do not yet know how to make,  so I simply curl up in the hollow emptiness left behind when she’s gone, because “I love you” sounds tinny and false over the phone, and she deserves to hear it from a flesh and blood man who isn’t so virtual. 

One day, I’ll hold her in my arms, press my hand to her chest so I can feel her heartbeat, and brush her hair aside to whisper in her ear those words that I need her to feel in her bones. 

For now though, I’ll listen to that Rise Against cover she recorded for me, and I’ll know that the sun’s always rising in the sky somewhere. 


Emerson Gray, a disabled genderqueer creator living in Saint Louis, Missouri, has been previously published in the Eunoia Review and Neon Mariposa Magazine. His piece “Life of an Ophelian Girl”, as seen in Crabfat Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He can be contacted on Twitter @Emerson_Gray_

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