Unlabeled – a poem by Cristina Dominguez

Lesbian and gay man,
sold in bulk now
but still costly,
costing me a lot of
my personality
and sexuality

Even when
I got the clerk
to help me,
to climb that
step stool
with that long arm tool
and get the
high end
top of the
hierarchy blend–
when it comes down,
comes over me,
it smothers me
and tries to hide
the queer that’s underneath

The tight stereotype
I’ve been
type-casted with,
the kind where,
here and there,
I stick out,
I tear at the seams
where you can see
the queer that’s underneath

At the register
they asked me to register,
to review the
exchange policy
and exchange
my fluidity
for the rigidity of,
for the stiffness
of distinction.
The subtraction and
of the part that
threatens them.
The extinction of
the queer that’s underneath

They were ready to
ring me up
ring me out
get me “over here Miss”
But I couldn’t
fashion myself
to the help
they dealt me.
So I could find

I hesitated and
I felt the
clothes in my hand
close in.
I drop the fabricated
fabric I tried on and,
head to the
opening and
narrow hall
I embrace my ambiguity,
my embodied feeling–
reeling in the moment
in the frock that
they mock.
the queer that’s underneath

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