the GENDER issue / POETRY
by D'mani Thomas
The gayest thing in the 21st century is Frank Ocean’s "Thinkin Bout You"
Something about tornadoes and Southern California
My .eyes .don't .shed .tears, but boy they bawl when i'm thinkin bout you
Frank wrote this for a boy and radio killed the gender.
And damn there is nothing more queer than a song written for someone just like you
taken out of context and given to someone else
There is nothing more magic than hiding a love letter in a lyric
Make us anything other than Old English burning at the throat
26 letters and queer must be a sound our mouths do not know how to make
It has issues making the sounds of nature.
So let's turn to music
Let’s just call it what it is
Us gays must be music
The way we bleed through walls
And shake windows
What language can not capture music ruptures
Frank did it best
Every song generic enough to be for a specific person
Nights Thinkin bout you there will be tears swim good at your best you are love
Cause I been thinkin bout you
A poet once said,
Sometimes you have to break/ a song open/ for another to fall/ out
And maybe that’s what I want most
A crowd of people singing a song, for me to me
learn my love language/ call it uh discography/ name every song a reason you’d play me again
Treat each line of this like love me not petals
Pull each song from the disc I am/ mail each pluck back with a reason/ why/ you took song and gave it back
D’mani Thomas is a defender of Oakland, lover of Outkast, Buffy the Vampire enthusiast, horror film fanatic and a 2017 & 2018 Cal SLAM National Poetry team member. His work often meditates on resurrection, music, black queer living, being a nerd, and writing the future.