by Dr Diego Semerene

[cw: suggestive imagery]

before the boys,


the original bones 

quietly whirring and already weary 

feigning, rushing, locking


before the boys,


spinning around the axis of my own body  

like a top


before the boys, 

staring at toys and wooden furniture 

opening phone books and begging for blended jell-o 

dreading sundays 

dreading mornings 

dreading dogs


commercial breaks and six o’clock


dreading meals 

dreading aids 

and the scent of grey wafting from crisp button-up man’s shirts 

before the boys,


longing for babies, and bloodied panties left behind 

I can wear them 

no one is watching


before the boys, 

waving out the window to imaginary fans and polishing fingernails with hair conditioner 

dreaming of leather vests, manly brothers and american skin 

dreaming of zip codes, 7up, and kidnappings too 

Diego Semerene is a London-based Senior Lecturer in Digital Media Production at Oxford Brookes University and holds a PhD in Media Arts and Practice from the University of Southern California. Diego is a film critic for Slant Magazine. Twitter: @diegosemerene