Poem 100 ± September 12, 2015

Roberto F. Santiago
Becoming Turquoise

She called me Turquoise, and she was right.
I was, or more likely am. Turquoise as the boiling dark.
Turquoise like Shaft, or Isaac Hayes, or shaft like taking
an elevator all the way down. Down like a euphemism
taken too far. Taken too far like down to the balls,
Turquoise as a ballad of any boy like me.
Turquoise like the sweat of two other men.
I’m sorry,     fear made me say two,
but there were seven, or several, men
that tasted like warm water and wanted me
to fuck ’em Turquoise that night.
A Turquoise that turns into a man,
or woman, or not.
Turquoise like fear that keeps me a secret
because you might say I had it coming.
Or fear like you might say things like God’s wrath,
or a plague. Or Turquoise like friends whispering
about you even though they don’t know if they are
Turquoise, or not.

Roberto F. Santiago​Roberto F. Santiago is the author of the poetry collection Angel Park, (Lethe Press, 2015). His poems (and some prose) have appeared in the journals Assaracus, CURA, NepantlaThe Acentos Review, Gingerbread House, Selfies in Ink, English Kills Review, and Hypothetical, as well as in the anthologies  The Waiting Room Reader: Stories to Keep you Company (CavanKerry, 2013), edited by Rachel Hadas; Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2011), edited by Kevin Simmonds; Me No Habla With Acento: Contemporary Latino Poetry (Rebel Satori Press 2011), edited by Emanuel Xavier; gape-seed (Uphook Press, 2011), edited by Jane Ormerod and Ice Gayle Johnson; and The Best of PANIC!: En Vivo From the East Village (CreateSpace, 2010), edited by Charlie Vázquez. Roberto is a ​2015 Sarah Lawrence Summer Fellow, ​a 2014 Lambda Literary Fellow​,​ and the recipient of the 2011 Alfred C. Carey Poetry Prize. Currently, he works as​ an educator​ in San Francisco. You can follow him on Twitter @theRFSantiago.

This poem is not previously published.