Jeremy Freedman

Bikini Wax, an Inquiry Into Heteronormativity by Jeremy Freedman

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Image by Jeremy Freedman

 Bikini Wax, an Inquiry Into Heteronormativity
I got a hot bikini wax and on the first day I got fired
I marked myself safe and then I got fired
I made myself good and pretty for you but me
and my bikini wax were made redundant
I held up my end of the manly bargain
but now I’m off the end of the bed
and now I’m waxing off my remaining meds
I was a longtime pistolero but now I’m pissing up a rope
my wax was extracted and the rope was burned
either extracting and burning is a binary
either I do or I don’t or it’s not
either way I made myself pretty for you
I made myself pretty sore for you
and now I’m pretty sure I’m sore or I’m not
either I’m sore at you or I’m not
either I’m a native here or I’m foreign to these shores
maybe I’m a member of that lost tribe or I’m not
either I decide what I want or not want
either creating is deciding or procrastinating
or maybe it’s false to be in its thrall at all
either I do what I can or I can’t
either I’m on fire for you or I’m not
either you fired me or you didn’t
either wax burns or it doesn’t
either your skin when sleeping
has the texture of wax or it doesn’t
either I’m sleeping right now or I’m not
either my waning meds work or they won’t
either you think I’m pretty or I’m not
either I’m pretty in pink or I’m not in the pink
these are either bad decisions or useful habits
these either are beautiful facts or brutal fiction
fiction is just a lie that tells the truth
or it’s just a lie that lies there burning
this is either fiction or it’s not
either it’s a capital idea or it’s too much honest labor
either I’m an honest worker or I’m as honest as a liar
I’m the artist here so I won’t defend myself to you
maybe I like a good ass-whipping or maybe I don’t
maybe you’re the one to give it to me or maybe you won’t
either this date will stink in my calendar like rotten fish
in the refrigerator or else it will smell like your rose tattoo
either I’m a teenage fascist or I’m just skipping past the truth
maybe you like one fascist finger inside you or two at most
but not my whole fist please small though it is
I’m either horny as a frog or oily as an otter
maybe you’ll find me grease-streaked
and yellow like the cheese whiz
on top of a cheese steak on the griddle
or maybe I just forgot to sizzle
or maybe I’m as pretty as the dribble
coming from the corner of your mouth while you’re sleeping
I hear your voice either declaiming or complaining
either the burning bush is on fire or that’s not the voice
of the hostess with the mostess I hear
coming from the holiest of holies
calling me madman or calling me madam
telling me either I’m free at last at home free
and independent or else I’m undependable
or else I’m a dog in a dog-shaped doghouse
either I’m the belle of the ball or the beast with the least
maybe that’s the song I’m singing in high tenor
maybe if I were a bell I’d go ding dong dinging in terror
maybe I’m wearing a dress for success or maybe I’m not
either it’s my birthday suit or it’s not my dress
either I’ll grow into it or I’ll hide my ass in the hedges
either I’m hiding in the hedges or I’ll take a hiding
maybe the arc of the moral universe bends toward an ass-whipping
maybe the arc of the moral universe has the shape of my schlong
maybe life is bright and brief as the night is dark and long
maybe the Sicilian defense is no longer worth the candle
maybe Mt. Etna is on fire for you alone and blew
its top again too hot to handle without a glove
maybe there’s comfort in fear and comfort in love
either you’ll drink in the smoke or you’ll run for the hills
either your cities are buried in ash or they’re not
either it’s the ash of Ash Wednesday or it’s not
who can say why your forehead is dirty
I’m pretty sure that’s not a fingerprint I saw imprinted
I’m pretty sure it’s not Easter Monday or Maundy Thursday
either it will stay dirty or I’ll have to clean it up
either this a fork in the road and I’ll take it both ways
or maybe I’m unsighted that direction
or maybe the fat lady lost her tenor and forgot to sing
and this is the end of the bed
maybe I’ll wish upon my lucky star
either we’re lucky or we aren’t
either we stand on something evanescent as heaven
or we stand crotch deep in muck
if we’re lucky this is only the first circle of hell
and either we’re fucked or we’re not it’s too dark to tell
Jeremy Freedman is a writer and artist living in New York City. His poems have been published in 2 Bridges Review, Pioneertown, Queen Mob’s, Cleaver, The Missing Slate, and elsewhere. His chapbook “Apophenia” is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. His photographs have been exhibited in Europe and the United States and have been featured in numerous journals. More work can be seen at

Coming On September 15th


Our September 15th edition will feature poetry from Dongho Cho, John Timpane, Jeremy Freedman, and Julia Wakefield.

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