“Gay People Can’t Drive” & “I Know Alone” by Beyza Ozer

Person with glasses and tattoos sits in backseat of a car. On the steering wheel, a red manicured hand wearing a ring.

Gay People Can’t Drive

because we have sugar for eyes & if you have ever seen wet sugar 
it looks a lot like what covered the roads on the night i was first fully naked 
with a person too old & walls too thin. a powerpuff girls sleeping bag 
never used outdoors above a baby photo: smiling open mouth 
in the bathtub with two outreached arms that belong to my mother. 
the same arms hold me back at a harsh stop. the same arms that will 
never have ink drilled into them like mine. gay people can’t drive 
because the silence between red lights hurts too much. 
because the one time i was in a car accident it was when i was 10, 
on my way to a friend’s birthday party who i had dreamed about, 
who i had pulled flowers out of the ground for, dirt still stuck to the bottom.
gay people can't drive because we aren't used to so much power, 
just continued reminders that we are dark galaxies of faults.
gay people can't drive because we can never focus on the road,
like how can you explain that you never find a pigeon’s body?
they use their time on earth & leave just as quietly.

I Know Alone

The moments between Chicago winter & spring. Getting up
to dance before the world is too much. Don’t send me photos,
you’re just making this worse. When does a person with heart & bone
become obsolete? A punching bag? Nothing but postcards
& emails signed regards. So much can change in a year. I’ll show you:
attached is a photo of the 1-bedroom apartment filled with boxes
& cockroaches. Both brown like your eyes & hair the night
you grabbed my arm so hard I thought it meant you still loved me.
Or the next morning when I was cornered in the bathroom & a swift push
explained everything. Nothing violet about that moment,
but I was still in love with your speed. I fell apart on the brown line,
but at least there was wind. My violet bruise. I know alone, I know alone.

Tags: ,

beyza ozer is a queer/trans/Muslim person living in Chicago and the author of FAIL BETTER (fog machine press, 2017). They live with their partner and cats.

MJ Sullivan is a queer, nonbinary creative/designer from & currently in New York. As an adult emo, they love curating Spotify playlists, reminiscing on their nights spent in mosh pits & crying to Phoebe Bridgers on long, daily hikes. You can check out their Insta (@mjsullivanart) or their website (mjsullivanart.com) for more of their illustration, design, motion & photography work.