I lied
I was 14
I was 18
I was 24

I lied
I said I was cold
I just wanted to wear your jacket

I lied
in the pale 6am morning after the boy I spent two months emasculating
tried to fuck me in a king-sized bed 

I lied
said I didn’t want it
I didn’t want it
but I didn’t not want it enough

my metallic nails
clawing at his face
drawing sticky, lazy drops blood 

his boner
a big, fat, juicy peach
smushed in between
the window pane of my hands
I was turned on and revolted and I lied

said I got down on my knees
sucked Jesse off good in the bathroom of the club
in a puddle of piss and gin and ice

I don’t know why
I lied

said I’d love you forever
said I’d knit you a bathtub of pink and yellow flowers to rot in
said I’d be a sea of neon snowflakes for you

I didn’t tell you we were two beheaded slugs curling around each other for warmth

I didn’t say I wanted to be someone else and loved for it

I was on Myspace
I got grounded that winter
learned how to code
learned how to shovel snow without gloves

I met girls online
on Myspace

made up a profile
I was a skater boy
my name was Turvo (no shit)
at fourteen I was already ten years ahead of the queer community

I talked to girls
needed pictures of boys
pictures of not me

I typed in hot boy
on Google
hot skater boy
hot guy
hot masculine man boy

found a photo of a hottie flipping an ollie
under the purple orange bruise of Florida sky

I talked to girls
I fell in love
I lied
told them stories of my Key West life
in these stories I water-skied
I skated, hard
my mom died last year in one of the stories

the ocean was giant pile of wet aluminum
suspended between my fingertips clinking
bright on the torch of keyboard in my basement bedroom
4am island of glow

I’d say things like hey
and sup
and brb when I wasn’t going to brb

I lied
I was in love
I was lying
that was wrong
but I was right
it seemed mean
but I was nice

I wanted to meet the girls I met online
I wanted to hold their hands in a body not mine
walk them all the way home
sob in their laps
under the yellow clap of a crystal thunder dome

acrylics tickling my ears grooming smooth
through my hair saying
we know

I was moving at a speed I could not control
performing my pain in every corner
making videos
making out
making shit up
losing the sky

I was in love but
I wasn’t a boy
was I?

with my side swoop bangs
with my billabong style
with my ass
a treasure chest
for unfamiliar boys and familiar men

the thought crossed my legs and I cringe

am I good at pretending
because I am trans
am I trans because
I am good at pretending 

mud howard