What should have been but never was.jpg

Poetry

Samuel Fox

Billy Joe Armstrong Stares at Me from my Ceiling

I bring home a new lover and she finds my mascara
on my dresser, asks which of my most recent girlfriends
left it there. I don’t have the heart to tell her it’s mine.

There are still days I use mascara or eyeliner
to remind me of my goth/pop-punk/post-hardcore show days
when I would circle the mosh pit, fabulous
as a black eye on a sugar plum fairy, and thrash to the low,
metallic djent and the melodic screaming.

There are still days I contemplate going into the sun
with Maybelline perfect lashes, sea green eyes popping open
like an umbrella, like a parachute, piercing through the world.

The first time I learned to put it on, my brother,
flamboyant and grungy in his My Chemical Romance t-shirt,
black uneven hair, and ripped grey skinny jeans,
curled my lashes back with the applicator, the black makeup
darkening my eyes with a pitch of summer nightfall.  

Can a boy not be beautiful too? Can he not feel comfortable
in the fashion of his own youth? Today, I put it on.
In the mirror, I dazzle even the glass. It can hardly hold me.

I dig up my old posters. I put Billy Joe next to my Magritte,
and crank up AFI to eleven: I know I’m both a man-crush
and a scene girl’s Romeo. I bat my eyelashes and the world
hates to love me, loves to hate me, and I could care less.
I walk away from my guitar, which I can always make moan.


io: Samuel J Fox is a bisexual poet living in North Carolina. He is published in Luna Luna Magazine, (b)OINK, and Maudlin House; he is forthcoming in Ellipsis, Cold Creek Review, and Five 2 One. He has been nominated for 2017's Best of the Net. Visit him at www.samueljfox.com or @samueljfox.

Emily Corwin