morning ritual by KJ Shepherd

we lay in bed, shirts and briefs and bare feet,
punch drunk on antihistamines and no sleep,
riffing for hours:

on your dream and whether it’s about your
mother (yes); how transparent a ghost must
be (very); whether i ever went to a private
school (never); about my alter ego’s kinks
(spit); my fur (nice); your fur (incredible);
my eye crust and your snoring (oh well);

we fall into a celebrity incantation:

ruby dee, didi conn, rae dawn chong
kiki dee, deedee king, bb king, chaka khan,
connie chung ruby dee kikideedidiconn
raedawnchongchakakhandeedeeking c c h
pounder

hello i’m shelley duvall
(i kiss you and you kiss me back)
hello I’m shelley duvall
(we sing tom’s diner at each other)
hello i’m shelley duvall
(i plant my nose under your arms)
hello i’m shelley duvall
(my cat is confused by all this)

in the shower, I list all the ways
i will mess this all up:

if I leave town too much, or not enough;
if I fuck too many other guys, or not
enough; if I began to hate my cat for
liking you more than me; if you see me
when I yell in traffic; if I say I love you
loud enough for you to hear it; if you
say tina chow stacy keech robin leach and
I have nothing to give but my eye crust

hello I’m shelley duvall
(i make you breakfast with my last eggs)
hello I’m shelley duvall
(I’ve read about dual star systems)
hello I’m shelley duvall
(you lick my nose and I lick yours back)
hello I’m shelley duvall
(we laugh under the weight of all this)

 

KJ Shepherd was a historian who became something else. They run the zine you know, i don’t know, and you can also find their poetry and other writing at Contingent, Lady Science, and Tropics of Meta. KJ lives in Austin, Texas.

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