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3 poems

by Barker Thompson

Barker Thompson is a 16-year-old queer writer who lives in Los Angeles. Other than poetry, Barker writes creative nonfiction, fiction, and hybrid prose/prose poetry. A junior in high school, Barker recently completed a semester-long creative nonfiction elective wherein he explored his voice through creating pieces such as a short memoir, a portrait of a place, and a synecdoche piece. In his writing, Barker explores themes such as love, relationships, identity, and mental illness. When he is not writing, he is waiting for an iced almond latte or finishing a season of Shameless.


And I’m guessing this is how I leave

you between the freckled sheets caught

up in yourself destined to

know my love eventually

forget what I told you giddy on cliff’s

edge halfway down 51st street I said

I loved you just because three years is too

long to kiss dreams goodbye leave

the spare key somewhere hard to

find make it hard for me to come

back and never change on sleepless

nights I lay face down pull on memories

and quivering skin to remember

what I learned from you

simply put to love you is to sink

under water under myself

visit me soon and watch me float

down everything you are not



I am sixteen years old but an empty promise

and there is one thing left that I need to do in this life:

I must get lost. I must dress in black waterfalls

opaque valleys that grow as my steps do


they drench me in all that I am not

divide me into sections I am but


a checkerboard of desirables. Folded

breaths deep enough to fill gaps that I slipped through


seep into locked cages, the things

my body has rejected. Have I won?


I push out from inside myself, rupture this makeshift

thing I once called human and follow the exit signs.





First Date

Sweet thoughts I suck

on synapses and call you

real, curl your hair, it is

electrochemical sweetheart,

with my finger, real but not

real, and dream of keys and

keyholes. I am in love with

you or this fabrication of you

that I touch and





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