STATEMENTS AND FACTS by Yanyi

 

A man, objectively twice my size, lets me off the subway by leaning back, his arm still arched over the pole because he thinks I am small enough to fit in the space that he made for me. Why don’t I fit into the space that he made for me? If I don’t, he can crush me with his body.

 

A man grabs my butt when we are going up the stairs and I tell him not to do it again.

 

A man makes a joke about how small I am. Another time, he calls me helpless.

 

All of this is a joke. When he pushes his arm against my face on the subway, I am just small, this is just where his arm rests, the subway was made too crowded so I have to wait to turn my face, wait for him to move, or not.

 

A man feels hurt when I ask him not to touch me. Later, he puts his arm around me when he wants to. Later, he puts his hand on my knee when we are with other people.

 

A man grabs my butt when we are going up the stairs and I tell him not to do it again.

 

He grabs my boobs as a joke because it’s funnier because he’s gay, I’m gay, sometimes I even look like a man, he will go no further and it doesn’t count. I’m not the one who knows the count. Leave these two ornaments or dog toys, a type of bauble, something you would throw and leave in the yard for squirrels, starlings, anything that loves pink.

 

A man wants me to walk some more and I say I don’t want to. But it’s not that much further, why wouldn’t you want to. I say my feet hurt, but they are blistered, they have been this way for miles. To wait this long to say anything means it isn’t anything at all.

 

A man grabs my butt when we are going up the stairs and I tell him not to do it again.

 

In my living room, without warning, a man shows me his balls. He is trying to love his body. But to me, the rush of pink, what I’ve been forced to see before. I am here because I want to be; I already made it this close. To wait this long to say anything means it isn’t anything at all.

 

Yanyi is a writer and critic based in Brooklyn, New York. He currently serves as a senior editor at Nat. Brut and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. His poems and criticism have appeared in Model View Culture, The Shade Journal, and The Cortland Review, among others.

 

Website: http://yanyiluo.com

Twitter: yanyi___

 

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