a grammar of my syrup:                                             the varying coarsenesses of pubic hair,

                                                                                         armpit hair, well-manicured beard hair,

                                                                                         neglected beard hair, bushy eyebrows


a grammar incompatible with          sense:             discipline or a place where toni collette

                                                                                         and arithmetic meet and she has that accent

                                                                                         i forget every time or a jelly spilling out

                                                                                         papel picado stinger-streamers singing

                                                                                         anthemic disco tunes about the romances

                                                                                         of the dead and unengaged or uninspired


a grammar of facing:                                                   the bright laminate of a bedroom floor

                                                                                         flexing under the weight of one foot

                                                                                         cum slipper then another and all then


a grammar (room for sunlight):                               the cruelty of learning to forgive

                                                                                         every year just as she makes habit

                                                                                         of early exits — a small joy, and

                                                                                         everything — she can fall where she

                                                                                         likes and I am not compelled to turn

                                                                                         long pig on a spit with all the fixin’s




grindr tells me how far i need to ride my bike to a top
emoji eggplant emoji eyeballs emoji peach emoji but

if u asked me to admit as much, i know what i am really
eyeballs emoji for is an exit emoji

& someone hard enough to fuck it into me after i induce
another panic about my body with the camera app

bc i imagined a hands-free beef cake selfie would be fun
but the fluorescent light & my lizard brain

start screaming about unresolved trauma from las palmas
municipal pool & after school

construction zone make outs with the cheap ipod speakers i
used to blast the xx & robyn while we used

whatever we could for lube bc we went to public school
which meant public school health class

which meant sex ed for an hour and no one really
TEACHES sodomy like sodomites do

when we’re a smirnoff handle deep into our self-loathing
& suspended adolescence

from the she’s all that moment we didn’t have bc
we were too busy jacking off to jake gyllenhaal getting bashed

to a fucking pulp but we make up for lost time by which i mean
we don’t speak again

but tonite i’m in the bathroom crying bc the comfort
in being NOT THAT FAT hits hard edges

when i hold fractions of exhales hostage to fit my body
into the booth at the vegan vietnamese spot

or at three am when i sweat in my sheets & wonder if everyone
who has ever fucked me did so on accident

like just popped a stiff one and didn’t see my ass coming
their way so oops

we’ve got a real code randy blue
which i do understand sounds absurd but in the mirror i can’t dream

of making & unmaking in the totalizing way
i’d wished a puberty ago

antmen pimentel mendoza (he/him/his and she/her/hers) is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, a pop culture nerd, and a scorpio. @antmenismagic

Photo credit Robert Keller