Creative

Queer Online Birthday in Quarantine

2 November 2020

for Olive

Morgan says, happy birthing
of the meat. Time isn’t real, Billie adds,
but your body trusts it – still – like a loser. I
mutter something like, yeah
Discord is shit, the world is a fuck
and you’re older and
dad to a shifty cat I want to bury
my face in. Ulysses is a good birthday name,
but I don’t think Have a Birth-Day like a Cat
is sound advice.

There’s an essay called
What is it Like to Be a Bat?
it involves sounding an urn with
a tiny hammer, to probe noise
echoed, but then
that’s just every day, every stitch unravels
in sun, ashing
the corners like paper,
alight, unfurling like something into 

wariness. I talk sometimes in my sleep, my lower jaw
cracks like ice, seaming
along a thread of air, releasing Jurassic-era carbon.
You apologise for the wifi-quality and
our avatars laugh like fire
sirens.


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