many a gay have played Beyoncé
for a day. a night really. we drag our-
selves on stage, reach for revenge in
that paper—those ones & fives we tuck
under the seams. tuck, like everything else
between our thighs. down in the bayou,
I wove a weave into my own fair hair,
glued fierceness to my lashes, layered
my face w/ base after a close shave—
that green shimmering beneath my eyes.
how i filled nude hose with rice, tied two
knots for c cups so the boys could cop
a more natural feel—as if they would
know the difference. how i cinched my love
handles w/ a duct-tape corset, squeezed
into red sequin hot pants & stomped those
six-inch stilettos down the steps. Bootylicious.
i knew my audience. how they watched me—
bite by bite—down that pb&j on stage. they
weren’t ready for that jelly. you can’t serve
a crowd what they expect. but i’ll never be
the Queen. my body can’t fill those cups.
i’ll never wipe away the base & still carry
color on my face. no natural ’fro to tuck
beneath a black beret, & i’d never fit into
leather hot pants these days. i can’t afford
the golden rounds of ammo to drape over my
flat-chested fantasy of what it must be like.
but I do know that bullets look so much
better outside of a beautiful black body.
Matty Layne is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University. His queer 'lil ditties on social justice have appeared in or are forthcoming from TheNewVerse.News, This Week in Poetry & The Furious Gazelle.