for Lorna

You crawled out of hell many times,   

dusted the soot off your shoulders and carried on.

A vine amongst weeds,  

your thorns are healing   

and now you stand upright taller, less addled by communal minutiae. 

We knew you then by the fencepost you made around your lips.

Dragged up in layers of filth and horror,

but with glimmers of humor in your eyes.

Your headbang was legendary. 

You flailed around with such purpose, 

I could see the teenager in you screaming for an out.

I think that’s why we connected so fast-

There were wounds in us both that clung to darkness.

I hadn’t seen you in a year and a half, 

besides the quick pickups for weed during the pandemic 

where you’d drive your newly obtained car and we’d 

leave the baggie in between screen and front door 

And from below to above we’d all shout I love you.

But on my baby’s birthday we came around again as you bartended.

You looked different but the same.

Great. You looked Great.

You looked like you were doing ok. 

I forgot until that night    

how much I missed you. 

I let crossed boundaries during your breakdown   

harden my heart. 

Like a cat, I kept my distance.

I miss seeing you perform too but mostly I missed seeing you, friend:

Shit talking in the back of Stir Lounge as you worked door.

Smoke breaks in alleys between acts.

That time for Freaky Fri-they when you were gobsmacked excited

as Mz. Peaches became goth goddess for her ode to you. 

You ring alarm bells whenever you see the red flag  

regardless of what that will do to your standing. 

You are far sweeter than you’ve been allowed to be.

If the drag world, ever makes you feel like you were a whisper:

Know that I heard it.


Author Bio:

Kate Carey (she/her) is a fat queer polyamorous slut who sometimes spends whole days in bed crying because feelings are hard.  Through deeply personal poetry and creative nonfiction, she touches on issues relating to trauma, fat liberation, mental illness and sexuality. You can find more about her at https://www.katemcarey.com/

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