By Nat Raum
A shower thought I recently had
i’ve never actually wanted before. or maybe i have and it’s just never worked out so i don’t count it, but i’ve never fallen in love from chasing someone. circumstance tends to find me with my arms already wide open.
Dating me is like
picking up a box on a shelf that’s marked “as is”, according to my old therapist. i could never quite tell if it was a defense mechanism or an insurance policy to lead with my archive of human horrors, but it also was never enough to stop them from continuing in spite of me making myself transparent as packing tape.
All I ask is that you
listen, but really listen, not the kind where you tell me how sorry you are and assume i’ve managed to banish the things i just told you far enough that they don’t slip into the dreams i’ll have once i can finally sleep through the night in your bed. (that will take a while.)
Two truths and a lie
the first night i downloaded tinder, i got in a car with a stranger to go to his apartment in towson. i’ve never had an orgasm. i’ve never said “i love you” first.
You’ll know I like you when
the chainlinks that usually lock themselves around my guts start to brick off like bismuth and you seep through the gaps enough that i tell you honestly about all the times i had to black out while held in my bed just like this. about the reason i keep most everything soft within me lying dormant under steel.
Nat Raum (they/them, b. 1996) is a queer disabled artist and writer from Baltimore, MD. They hold a BFA in Photography and Book Arts and are currently a first-year MFA candidate in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. Nat is also the founder and editor-in-chief of fifth wheel press, a queer literature and art publishing space. Past and upcoming publishers of their writing include Kissing Dynamite Poetry, trampset, CLOVES and Delicate Friend.