Dear Andrew Cunanan by Dani Putney

When you smashed
Jeff’s head in, the love
of your life’s mouth agape
across the living room,
I was there, a fourth
presence in the apartment,
learning from the greatest
sugar-daddy killer in queer
history. Though I was born

a year before in your Cali
home, my soul astral-
projected to that night
in Minneapolis, a day after
my parents’ anniversary.
Diwata carried the flame
of my spirit to you for a lesson
in balance: fire doused
in the city of water, a Filipino

embroiled in the intimacy
of white death. I fused
with you then to form a whole
person, your half of Luzon,
mine of Cebu—no need
for David, Lee, or Gianni
in our purgatory of gay
mongrelhood, our torso
clad in gilded Oroton.

Some say you were
a psycho, but I only saw you
with my baby eyes: a tempest
unstuck in American empire,
a bundle of entropy
much too premature
for the future we deserve.
In this life we’re but tiyanak,
Drew, lost in trails of blood.

 

Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, and neurodivergent writer originally from Sacramento, CA. Their poems appear in outlets such as Empty Mirror, Ghost City Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Juke Joint Magazine, and trampset, among others. They received their MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women and are presently an English PhD student at Oklahoma State University. While not always (physically) there, they reside in the middle of the Nevada desert. Dani’s debut poetry collection, Salamat sa Intersectionality, is now available from Okay Donkey Press.

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