Visiting the erotic frescoes of Pompeii, I watch Priapus
lean back, gesturing at his impossible member
and the spreading cracks.
It sounds like the set-up to a joke,
but I’m serious as a temple
when I say
this does nothing for me.
On a dare I shave my eyebrows and commit
to the clean alien look, scraping away
pubes, pits, legs, head.
My genitals are an arctic plane.
On a Chelsea rooftop, the rich queer
artist pours concrete over my bare
legs. The rented mariachis
play “Cielito Lindo”
and the world gets harder.
I’m Bonnie Tyler and a man
makes love to me onstage—
halfway through the second
chorus of “Faster than the Speed
of Night,” and I don’t stop singing.
It gets on YouTube
but my parents don’t recognize me
because I’m Bonnie Tyler
and my hair is feathered.
Charlie Bondhus’s second poetry book, All the Heat We Could Carry, won the 2013 Main Street Rag Award and the 2014 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. His work appears in Poetry, The Missouri Review, Columbia Journal, The Bellevue Literary Review, Nimrod, Copper Nickel, and others. He is assistant professor of English at Raritan Valley Community College (NJ) and is the poetry editor at The Good Men Project (goodmenproject.com). He is trans*/genderqueer.
This issue of Chelsea Station was co-edited by
Mitch Kellaway, AJ Sass, and Noah Grabeel.