i knew i was queer

when i was watching mulan

the disney film


i was only eight


but i knew i was queer

when i fell in love with shang

and then i fell in love with mulan too


pink minced meat

sweating in the sink

quick, put it in the oven before it

starts to stink


let the house fill with it

seep into the walls

sink into the carpet



eat until you’re satisfied

eat until you’re numb inside




the strength of my own sexuality

frightens me


i become certain

that i’m addicted to porn

or sex


and then i wonder

after weighing up the evidence


if i was lied to


despite being undermined

trampled on

talked over


my sexuality rises

like steam


the heat of it

burns me


but it’s so malleable

and i can do so much with it


you asked

if i had any money

you said you were so hungry


i said no

even though

a quarter burned a hole

in my pocket


i didn’t want

to give you

a quarter

of what you asked for


it was 5:30 in the evening

and i had already been



and looked over


men had already

taken so much energy from me

by demanding

my number

that i meet their eye


that by the time you reached me

reached for me

asked me

for money


i was so tired

that i didn’t have the strength to sum up

what kind of man you were

or if you were someone i could trust

even for a moment


half a block later

i watched a young man

in a hoodie

fist bump another man

whose fingernails were black

teeth like tar


two grins, two cigarettes


and my body on the corner

waiting for the light to change


so when you asked me

for a dollar



i had no words

for how privilege had made me so tired


i’m sorry

so sorry

i know privilege makes you tired too