dennison ty schultz is a queer cancer sun/cancer moon originally from Arkansas and currently an MFA candidate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Impossible Archetype and Foglister, and it has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. They tweet @clubdenni.

1 poem

by dennison ty schultz

ENGLISH TO ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF SERVICE INDUSTRY SCRIPT

Hi. How are you      doing today? Good.    What can we get       started for you? Any  thing else? Sure. What size? Anything else?   Sorry about that. No,      no, it’s my bad. Sorry about that. We just         ran out, is there some thing else we can get      for you? Hi. How are    you doing today?       Great. What can we        get started for you? Anything else? Any   thing to eat? Did you   want that warmed? If    you could sign this for   me. I really appreciate      it. Enjoy. Hello. How     are you doing today? Good. What can we        get started for you? Anything else? Sure. Anything else? What   size? Sorry about that.   No, no, it’s my bad.        No problem. We just      ran out, is there some thing else we can get      for you? Hi. How are    you doing today?       Great. What can we        get started for you? Anything else? If           you could sign this          for me. I really    appreciate it. You’re welcome. Anything          to eat? Yeah, it’s so    good. Did you want       that warmed? Have            a great   day. Enjoy.        I’ll grab that. Here.    Enjoy.  Thank  you.  Hello.

I’ll only like you if you tip. I’ll accept you blaming

a bad attitude on no coffee if you come back

after your coffee & apologize. Or if you tip

more. Your question, though repetitive,

isn’t stupid. I appreciate you trying to learn

my momentary language. I mean I love any name

that isn’t mine. If Carmen Sandiego beckons me to her

all-femme caravan of queer escape artists, I’m getting the fuck

out of here, the angry swan necks of my legs

honking & lashing, beaks en pointe.

The money from the safe will be stolen & I will steal it,

my Pluto in Scorpio in my second house swanning to erupt

shit. My satisfaction

knowing you can’t survive this

day without seeing a faggot handle your latte

smells like toast an atom before the knife

& its gentle spreading.

The sun, on the plane, spreading

across the seats, reminds me of The Sound of Music,

when flashlights sniff the bars in the church. I don’t want this.

The sun on the plane spreading across the seats speaks

to the sun’s right to our silly, dangerous planet.

To compare the sun to a Nazi is to play into fascist discourse,

in that white supremacist power becomes a victim

needing protection. An old factory,

renovated to house an ad agency & several obscure businesses

is a terrible omen, to say nothing of how any unsurprised

Walmart husk can be, unarguably, a cage.

A building is an easy thing, its haunt swift as a tongue

evicted from its mouth, or a color evicted to construct white,

or a child evicted from a parent. White people love tongues.

Taking them. Using them as retainers for our tongues, or

like a really cool phone case. Do you like my tongue? I can’t

tell you this, but an insect tapdanced

on the part of the countertop kissing your palm & policy

says I had to kill it so I did, there, at that moment. Before

that, in its previous factory, someone surely sobbed here.

The salt of a desperate sob will outlast even the cockroaches

when the apocalypse finally answers our spam

telemarketer ads. Last night—& the night before—&

in the afternoon relaxing before us—I put the tip

of my tongue in a wildly responsive asshole.

I wrote a new alphabet that requires

its elated puckering. It takes hours

to say love. On the other line, someone

should have already said hello.