Complaint 97.2

by Francis Host

I muted the phrase “queer witches”
on Twitter today,
and this was gentleness.
If I need a tincture or poultice,
I have a straight witch named Frank
who deals on the side
from his job on a Christmas tree lot.
Go snorkel in the milk of human kindness
if you can, if it hasn’t yet been skimmed of fat.

We’ve never had such a cynical volunteer
the sweet grandmas murmur
at the Anglican soup kitchen
as I ferociously crimp the crust
for a pumpkin pie.
Everything you do is for the wrong reasons,
I think at them, and every day I vow
to do at least one Good thing,
while wearing a face like I’m tearing apart
a Rembrandt with my bare teeth.

So, from out of the past,
I darken your GoFundMe.
I haunt your safe injection site with a box
of mittens. Take my wallet,
my time, my hands,
bury them somewhere
far enough from my body
to make them clean.

There is something
in the clinical new language
of acceptance
which hasn’t yet been rounded
into vernacular.
I called this poem “love”
so that when I say what I mean,
it seems I’m saying something else.

Francis Host lives and writes in Montreal, Quebec.

Photo by Alex Fu.

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