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Calling All Captains

By K. Switch

We wake these days in blurred brotherhood. As far as I can tell, the face facing mine, my own and someone else’s all in one. You sleep knotted up in yourself, and by that I mean, you sleep knotted up in the ache you share.

It is a love of necessity before choice, of record before voice, of getting lost in the wicked woods of childhood dreams and emerging into the fields your teenage emo scratched into the corners of spiral college-ruled pages.

It is the love of your too-small fingernails. It is the love of your unmanageably indecisive head of hair. It is the love and loss of you, yourself, and every “you” that cannot exist aside and inside another “you.”

You speak and kiss in circles, agonize for weeks over the willingness of zippers and buttons, plant yourself against your image, and step back. Was that okay? Is this okay? Which version of “you” is consenting?

And this, this inexplicable love, that we nurture and refuse to monopolize, that we hum and strum to, that we temporarily tattoo and watercolor and journal and compose and re-tell slumber-party style in panting giggle, is the only nameable thing we have, the hazardous point on which sleeping and waking rests.

Dearest brotherboys, sistergals, faggotdykes, fruits, and binary-less captains, lately I want to ask you: have you the courage to change your circumstance? And by that I mean, have I?
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