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Miss Merry Sexton Regales the Dead Ringers

By Mikal Wix

As she struts out on stage in her epic pumps,

wig replete with masts and yards, sails and cordage,

all the rigging for a trans voyage over big water,

not a translation, but a revelation,

there’s a twist to her arm, her lip, and her gait,

as if she’d just that morning suffered a lash,

or perhaps a paroxysm of weeping with riant eyes,

but instead, the queerness of her animated lilt

is the badge of her fame, the iconic remnant,

her glorious coat of arms.

She takes the stage, owning every plank beneath her heel.

She declares war on the audience. Her mic, a wand of mojo,

moving her through the suburban minds, laying waste

to the very hands that ravaged her the year before.

Not vengeance, but discipline — she performs to correct

the men, the boys, any who dare to impose,

by ambushing their ambivalence.

Her siege engine is a supple tintinnabulation

of clink, clank, and clatter

of coins bouncing in her Hermes Chaine D’Ancre bag,

of gang chains falling to the pavement,

of designer stilettos tapping out “Non, je ne regrette rien.”

upon the battle helmets of conscripted jesters.

She is fierce. Her barbs find homes among the velvet cloaks,

the feather hats, and the silk scarves of the noblesse,

leaving behind the toxic scent of shame, like lipstick

left on his collar, or cash left on the nightstand.

She has braved the brutishness of ham-fisted lovers

and the bravado of wanton gigolos, and neither saluted

the rank, but both left scars.

As the curtain calls, she glances back over her shoulder

to offer a serene koan of insight to the applauding tarts

and the languid godmothers:

“To get, you must give, my darlings. If you think you can

without fear or anger, then listen to the sound of me leaving.”

To this they scream with delight

because in that moment, it occurs to them

—that their furious little world is precisely the place they know,

a triumphant box of dark matter wherein one need only pull a rope

to loudly ring the bell far above their safety coffin.


Mikal Wix grew up in the South. The place seeded insights into many outlooks, including visions of a revenant from the closet. He studies literature and anthropology and has recent work in Penumbra Literary Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Angel Rust Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Hyacinth Review, & works as a science editor. You can find Mikal on Instagram and Twitter.


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