"stilettos in a rifle range" by Tyrone Williams

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July 21, 2022 

stilettos in a rifle range

Tyrone Williams

She and she

said switch

so swish

                                       he did, having misheard,    

                                       heard, he slid into a pair

                                       of, slipped into an, open-

back heels and dress,

they, following suit,

she, his jacket, shirt,

                                      she, his pants, wingtips,

                                      tearing down the set

                                      pieces, flipped the dinner

party, a three-ring

au pair a trois

staging the blank glint

                                      mute smirk,

                                      wine glasses

                                      half raised, lowered

to half-staff,

flagging something

in the airs,

                                    chi chi noses

                                    wrinkled with

                                    the stiff whiff

of a flat mistake

aquiline for Roman

knock-off

                                    defanged the gang:

                                    “It was all a gag,”

                                    they cried, laughed.

Copyright © 2022 by Tyrone Williams. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 21, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

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“This poem explores the phenomenon of cross-dressing within the ambiguous context of a heteronormative ‘joke’ aimed at a homophobic audience.”
Tyrone Williams

Tyrone Williams is the author of seven books of poetry and co-author of washpark (Delete Press, 2021) with fellow poet Pat Clifford. He teaches literature and theory at Xavier University in Cincinnati.
 
washpark
(Delete Press, 2021)


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