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Josephine Keys


and now we skirt down the centre
and now we take the space by the bathrooms
and now we are public energy

here we spin or try to spin
here are songs about prayers
murmuring the words, your mouth is a furnace

it’s like these people have never seen two women dance?

I pray the men circling like dumb logs in a gridlocked flume
will leave and you tell them I’m here to dance with my girlfriend

maybe we are the fire and they certainly feel that
you can always count on the gays
to make a dancefloor wherever they go

Max Key’s Voice Memos

My family spawned a maker.
I like to compare myself to important laws.

I sometimes feel a stranger huffing through me.
It seems he is disappointed in my ideas.
Focused on the work I admire,
I feel I can fully take on the weight of the law, and kill him.

Cheerful caustic is a movement.
Or, if I’m understanding hate pieces—

Facts are retreating into business.
Helicopters are coming out from under me.
Sex as gymnastic performance.
I probably also have a group of wives.

I confess sometimes, even though I am a showman, people scare me.
I slit minds of people that I was, would like to meet, in order to lose me.
I often find that I am a person who has rarely needed to understand me.
Travel for me is the lost self-compassion I’m talking about.

I choose what I need, of course,
it is right a certain room must be full
of all the hype about all the—

I argue with my father, who I shoot.
I admit to being severe.

Josephine Keys writes poetry and makes perfume. She posts on instagram as @j__keys.