Eric Tran

My first was so pale he
(be)came moonlight.

In fluorescence, my last
lined me up like a bullseye.

I bought one milkshakes after,
pointed at the cream-glut straw

you. Call me dirty
spoon hoarder, pot-licker,

convert of the salt rim.
How my meat teeth

mark leylines, the soft,
plump folds in an origami box.

How breath can balloon
and moisten the edges

for tearing. My tongue wants
less violence—not tearing

but like bread's warm open face
or my fingers deep in the ready.

By sweat I mean a glass
on the nightstand, my thirsty

palm on a wet-kissed
mirror. Please, let me trace

a message, a nothing
that disappears by morning

until I bring my mouth close
and watch it come to life.

Eric Tran is a queer Vietnamese writer in Asheville NC, where he is a resident physician in psychiatry and an associate editor at Orison Books. His debut book of poetry, the Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer won the 2019 Autumn House Press Rising Writer's Prize. His work appears in Iowa Review, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere.

Follow @rebelinslacks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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