The three of us, best friends,
knew Rent backward and forward.
“La Vie Bohème,” at sixteen,
a stumbled-over love letter
from the AIDS epidemic
with line after casual line
of sometimes hard-for-our-
midwestern-mouths to pronounce
nouns: huevos rancheros;
Sontag; Sondheim. Words
that became rungs in our own climb
up the slick fire escapes
into these queer bodies.
And now, at thirty, we hold
a knowing more intimate:
leather, eating disorders, dildos,
masochism and on. We reflect
what shined on us. We reflect fire
in the cold night, in places fire
doesn’t belong. Revolution, no
way to make a living, queer
inheritance that both binds and buoys.
What we’ve always had is each other,
and an abiding belief that thriving
is an ensemble number.
a.n.s is a jack-of-all-trades artist type redirecting her energy into writing, bookbinding, and printmaking. In art making, a.n.s values materials with a natural lifespan, such as newsprint and fall leaves. She repurposes the discarded. In writing, a.n.s. leans into the pattern of her experience, highlighting how macro systems play out in micro lives. At parties, she wants to hear your favorite story; at home she gives herself stick-n-poke tattoos under bright neon light.