To Judith Butler//Dani Putney


If closet doors could speak,

they’d say unravel.

To festoon my body in silk is

to pick a scab      neurosis a style

never let the wound settle,

as in recovery      pre- and post-injury

or lava meant to freeze itself igneous.

The prickle of polyester

felt by a body in fashion

resists biological inertia:

               What’s rest anyway

               but a prescription for gender,

               can’t eczema on upper arms

               —hugging rolled sleeves—

                                   be enough?

The only tool Goddess gave us

was fascia,

language followed      then currency

then it made sense.

It’s all relational      isn’t it

the origin of commodities:

                   Darwin, your beaks look like

                   skin   hair   prick.

If closet epistemology burns cotton,

I was well-charred

before jumpsuits and rompers burst

—the criminologist found

pyrotechnic gossamer—

Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, Asian American poet exploring the West. They’re often lost in the kaleidoscope of their gender. Most recently, their poetry appears or is forthcoming in Noble / Gas QtrlyPrismatica Magazine, and Transcend, among others. Presently, they’re infiltrating a small conservative town in Nevada.