Shia Conlon



i left just before they allowed us to marry and before abortions were legal i arrived to another place where the four walls would house more extended dumb trauma i unpacked the boxes inside, a shattered house blessing from your catholic mother i tried to outrun the church but down from the ceiling came snakes made of light, by light when i said hold me i meant crush me your arms covered my eyes a fleshy border framing the slithering the only protection you could offer was physical the voices came later on the bus in the november 3pm blue sunset look at my eyes, i said it’s the cocktail they gave me the doctors that gathered around my body like crows around a crumb it’s that cocktail, i’m sure sertraline seroquel whatever look at my eyes, i said i could do with some help help that didn’t feel like dissecting i declared war on my body and won now i’m a ghost soft, 100% cotton sheet, two holes help can be as simple as looking me in the eye and admitting ‘you look different’ something has changed


in the red jelly, of safe light you slip me under, a film of thick water enveloping all my edges, my gaze forms beneath your hand, the temperature of this and us not too far off, the steady right to left rock, babying the grey, like spit on a shadow, deepening in this ratio my body appears christlike, splayed a sunday before, in your cream cotton, letting the light in, letting the leak out, legs moved apart by the echo of Mapplethorpe’s frame, i grow beneath your lens and close my eyes to the sound of a shutter of a decisive moment of trust


1. Admitted we were powerless in the face of It — that our dreams had become hijacked 2. Came to believe that reciting the names of the dead would wake them up 3. Made a decision to share our words and images publicly, under the care of what would later be revealed as undercover police 4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of all the gendered lies 5. Admitted to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our traumas 6. Were entirely ready to go beyond domestication 7. Humbly asked the undercover police to share their resources 8. Made a list of all sites of the siren on our body, and became willing to say no 9. Made the number of us so vast that It started to get shivers, feel fear 10. Continued to take personal inventory of all of our dead 11. Sought through dissociation and care to improve our conscious admittance of lies, as we understood It, and the hidden ones, as what they always were: voids, empty, ruins 12. Having had an awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry these secret words to workers, faggots, outsiders, the sick, the dying 13. On the day you receive this, begin to dream without limits