torrin a. greathouse

not gay as in happy, but queer as in the way a mirror warps your reflection & water-colors your face into something you no longer recognize

The Uncertainty Principle

If / Then or An Open Letter to High School GSAs
“⊃” represents an if/then statement in symbolic logic, the words
preceding it being the “if” those after being the “then.”
i am sitting in a room dripping rainbows
from the ceiling like blood or milk & i
do not feel like i belong ⊃ maybe there
just isn’t enough glitter in my blood
[&] i am sitting in this room wondering
if i’m really “queer enough” ⊃ maybe
this is another theft i was never taught
to prepare for
i open my mouth to speak & nothing
comes out ⊃ ask yourself, whose
voice put shackles on this tongue
[was it yours?]
i am in a safe-space & i am afraid
of offending a cis-het ally stitching
their tragedy hungry lips to our
all too bloody skin ⊃ this “safe-
space” learned everything it knows
from handcuffs
[&] i [queer-queen / rainbow
warrior sprouting butterfly
knife wings] am sitting in this
room being judged for the
glitter content of my un-giftable
blood ⊃ what about the kids with
closets nailed to the inside of
their skin? the boys sewn from
bruises sprouting from their
fathers’ fists? the genderqueer
kids who can’t afford hair dye
or $60 slogan tee shirts?
[when did this become a popularity contest?
another kind of heaven that will never let us in?]
they’re not counted ⊃
count me out

torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer cripple-punk from Southern California. Their work has been published or is upcoming in Rust + Moth, TQ Review, The Feminist Wire, Caliban Online, & Glass. torrin is the co-founder of Black Napkin Press & an editor of The Black Napkin literary magazine. When they are not writing or editing poetry, they are trying to survive in America long enough to earn a degree.