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FOUR POEMS by nat raum


carefully constructed prose slips

away in the darkest corners of a red room

projected nostalgia onscreen (evidently

i’m madonna) like a quiet prayer

the devil on the wall winks back

fingertips tracing rings of pbr on a

laminate table (fingers through hair

tangled in sterling silver bands) scraping

the floor as cocktail napkins flutter

i cut my teeth on your caipirinha kiss



in the beginning (before

there was anything), there was


heavenly disarray,

encompass me and all that

surrounds me; leave me behind

in the folds of cotton

that separate your alabaster

silk from mine.

pull my hair,

need me.

four dollars on the coffee

table in a convenience store bag,

you on top of me, on top of you,

lemonade pricking at my

cold sores, stepford wives on

your laptop, kiss, come softly,

repeat as necessary.



my mouth is longing with a desire that

scorches the earth, lips chapped and purple as

lilacs waiting to wilt

(i want to hear myself sing)

a candle’s saturated wick sizzles as smoke ascends

breathe in, breathe out

ice cracks under black leather boots

your taste lingers on the tongue like

nothing else ever could, cane sugar cola

and turmeric and

oh nostalgia, you little fiend

feet heavy as steel, steps light as laughter

day in, day out

i dance on a stage of needles

i fall on your pyre of roses

(i want to let myself scream)




above the atlantic i am

chewing on your sweet mint

gum (my ears haven’t popped

once yet); i am

listening to the same

song on repeat to hear

the three lines that

make me think of you,

even though you are

right next to me poking my palm with

one hand and fiddling

with the seat recline

button with the other.

i never can help but

notice how far

away you feel from me

sometimes, like the nights you

pass out on my couch beyond

hope of waking up to caress

my hips while i fall asleep

next to you; i kiss your forehead

and still you rest, intangible

distance tugging at me softly.

(there are 30,000 feet between

me and this ocean; there are

three inches between you and me.)


nat raum (b.1996) is a queer disabled artist and writer from baltimore, md. they are a current mfa candidate at the university of baltimore. nat’s practice centers around their past trauma and subsequent c-ptsd diagnosis and has become a part of their healing process. recent projects have explored queer escapism and gender transition. they are the founder of darkside collective and fifth wheel press. nat is an avid fan of glass animals, noise-cancelling headphones, and bisexual lighting. Twitter.

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