By Dani Putney
I slept with him. I thought I knew discipline well, but no. It’s really about beauty, the soft palms
of a gorgeous boy against your back. To be a grave- yard is a reinvention of power. To stick fingers
down a black turtleneck, a slight chokehold, is to know what’s tenuous in this life. His name on my lips,
a prayer I am everything. Because naming is a choice to relinquish self in quest for a better self. He taught me
this with his tongue cupping the back of my ear. Gossip is discourse, but so is age: a man double your years
guiding you through creation. What he doesn’t understand is I’m already undone, a body caught within a triple helix.
He’s a reminder of who I’m becoming. Has he ever become? All’s left, gone, a tombstone coup de grâce.
Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, and neurodivergent writer originally from Sacramento, California. Their debut full-length collection, Salamat sa Intersectionality (Okay Donkey Press, 2021), was a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry. They’re also the author of the poetry chapbook Dela Torre (Sundress Publications, 2022) and the creative nonfiction chapbook Swallow Whole (Bullshit Press, 2023). Their poetry appears in outlets such as Cream City Review, Foglifter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Puerto del Sol, and Quarter After Eight. They received their MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women and live in Reno, Nevada. www.daniputney.com