Its All Greek to me

For B. D. M.

“The embrace of men”
I say
and you pirouette
behind the cash register
a new found bond at work

mopping the floor
we compare blowjob techniques
and we’re already best friends
a will and grace impression 
of gay-man/straight-woman friendship

“no B, D or S. just single-malt masochism.”
and we’ve moved past friendship
baring scars
sharing trauma
“this scab is named father”
“this scar tissue is my childhood
which I recreate every fortnight
across my chest, legs and arms”
hands sliding down 
the other’s face
and an innocent declaration
of love

you tell me
“a monster lives in my house”
so a month later 
we move to our own apartment!
where we can bring home boytoys
fuck based on fridge schedules
come home to the scent
of cherry scented lube
and slobber

one morning
I pop open a bottle of gin
and go on the balcony
a void in my sternum
barnacles on my heart
time for a new burn

I light my cigarette
caress your cheeks
sit on the chair
we took from the streetcorner
and lock my arms around your belly
your pulse
pushing me away

I light the cigarette
take deep puffs 
till the red ember
towers like a dunce cap
which I place firmly on my arm
push and turn
till i smell flesh
the summer sun explodes behind my eyelids
and I’m exorcised
but then
your tears
and then your screams
and then you’re paralyzed

scars are lies
we tell our bodies
they bud in solitude
simmer beneath the blood
and wait to blossom
a bas relief carved into the body
trauma manifest

when we step back inside
our house has shrunk
the air is thin 
sunlight has rotten on the mantle
and you remain silent
but in your eyes
I read
“A monster lives in my house”

The Candy Factor

“I do have a dash of Kramer in me” – Brooke Candy

so no sex in high school eh?
your dad workin’ in hustler and all
Larry Flint at your brother’s bar mitzvah
so you snuck around

pornhub’s got you now
making queer porn and all
no “normal sex” you say
as in no straight men
the universe budding
from a bejeweled asshole
hugs and butterflies
the screen flashes
and genitals are constellated
rudimentary CGI

Asa says
we’ve all got daddy issue
is that why we’re hypersexual?

Courtney love’s been tame for ages
Anna Nicole’s gone
your sex is your weapon now
your pictures flagged every other day
popping in and out of public consciousness
Trojan horsing gender identity issues into pop culture
making queerness punk again
making punk queer again

queer as in suck you 
in the bathroom
and then slide you
and your eccentric beauties a pill
for the cuddle pile

queer as in 45% dislikes
queer as in “I’ll pass on this”
queer as in “the lighting is all wrong”
queer as in “Stale in its sameness”
queer as in “Visual unclarity”
queer as in “the adult film industry lacks beauty”

Canada Day 2019

I stare down at the blade
a knife 
cleaves and separates
fruit from seed
flesh from
skin, ligament
bone, muscle, silverskin

I place it on my fingertip
and press firmly till it bleeds open
slides away like a torn glove
tucked into the pocket
kept secret

the shore
smells like rotten oysters
of pebbles
moistened till sea-wed

and the fireworks slice the sky
and the newspaper creaks of genocide

a single projectile 
neon blood
against the night sky



Khashayar Mohammadi @DearKestrel is an Iranian-born writer/translator based in Toronto. He is the Host of knife / fork / book’s chapbook club and the author of chapbooks ‘Moe’s Skin’ with ZED PRESS (2018) and ‘Dear Kestrel’ with knife / fork / book (2019). His poems have also appeared in Poetry is Dead, Bad nudes, Half a Grapefruit Magazine and elsewhere. He is currently working on a full length poetry manuscript.

Banner Image Collage “Necessary as Intention” by Robert Frede Kenter Tweets at @frede_kenter