Back to Issue Twenty-Seven.

Surgery Dream (Incision)


The first time I let him go down
on me, I was not telling the truth.

I didn’t praise that beige sky
reddening at the tug of blood.

I didn’t gasp or rise. I emptied
myself like a good vein & said

thank you. I meant it. What was I
supposed to say? Bait & switch

the symptom / retire my tongue.
My skull, a rattled cage, my brain

a blush engine coughing up coal.
The first time I let him see me

naked, I was no god. I shook
like bone. I lied / still as gospel.

Duncan Slagle is a queer poet and performer from Alaska & then Minnesota. Duncan is the author of FATHER HUNT (L’Éphémère Review) & currently attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a First Wave Scholar studying Ancient Greek, Latin, and Creative Writing. The winner of the 2018 Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize and a 2018 Best of the Net nominee, Duncan has more work online at


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