heat wave – mud howard

the future is not Las Vegas yet here we are
dying and newly alive
glittering thunder dome of sweat

i can’t wake up from
this ugly ass place
out on the strip i mount my grief

the breeze crashes against my cheek
you pace and text and mouth breathe beside me
the brassy comb of your anger is 106 degrees

my sadness is a planet
my sadness is a heat wave
we call it Vegas

your trigger shows up on a billboard
i don’t know how to communicate without popping off
without a thousand fizzy stars spilling out my mouth

can you imagine standing in line
until you’re old and hate the smell of cigarette smokes
the soles of your feet coated in agave

wearing pink floral dresses and not being afraid of money
the socket wrench of your arm loosened with time
the creamy lights of a slot machine washing over your face

I don’t know how to rub my wounds against the dried up sky,
how to wake up early after a night of good dick
and lift my body into this city

you are a warehouse party
I never knew the address of
where they play music made of crushed metal

the future is a place where nothing is broken
everyone has a flashy jacket
no one gets cold




mud howard (they/them) is a gender non-conforming poet, performer and activist from the states. mud creates work that explores the intimacy and isolation between queer and trans bodies. mud is a co-editor of pnk prl, an online queer erasure zine, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. they were the first annual youth writing fellow for Transfaith in the summer of 2017. their poem “clearing” was selected by Eduardo C. Corral for Sundress Publication’s the Best of the Net 2017. mud is a graduate of the low-res MFA Poetry Program at the IPRC in Portland, OR and they were an first year artist-in-residence at the Residency in the Garden. they are currently wading through an MA in Creative Writing. you can find their work in THEM, The Lifted Brow, Black Napkin Press, and Cleaver Magazine. they spend a lot of time scheming both how to survive and not perpetuate toxic masculinity. they love to lip sync, show up to the dance party early and paint their mustache turquoise.



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