by Emily Severance
I imagine myself a Durer warrior
With a huge shield in the shape of a turtle
To encase feelings of fondness.
I stride off into the day—
Incongruous spectacle as emotional camouflage.
Look as male as possible
Swagger about in my armor
While Chihuahuas snipe behind chainlinks and cacti.
Nose transformed into a hook,
Brow supporting a helmet above piercing eyes
Each metallic step catapulting me forward. I focus to keep sharp and strong,
But traitor sun brings tears to my eyes and the world blurs and softens
My protection carried off like carrion in vulture beaks.
‘Til I’m left with a pot on my head and trash can
Lids strapped to my feet that scare alley cats
but no one else.
– refers from “neither possesses/ sufficient armor” in the poem Ad Infinitum by Melanie Faith