Frank Karioris 

We’re hooligans of the simplest sort,             to make drinks of rum & warm juice
in the middle of the night, yes,                       we drink like wolves out in moonlight shine.
Talk makes drink & drink talks, so                we laugh at silliness & find joy in small
moments held dearly, the bottle                     on the floor, emptied, a small statue to this.

We are of our own making, so                       we were told; but we need to remake ourselves
& our family is the capacity venue                 that determines this; difficult. He tells me of his
Father & of their animosity, he                       has never celebrated my accomplishments, but asks
it as a question instead of a statement.           We will visit his dad, have a drink with him,
bring Cubans with us as gifts                         or way of seeking approval. This is what
we can do, we share together, we                   preach to ourselves this mantra. It doesn’t convince.

So he pours another drink, strong,                  & I go inside from the balcony to cook us
some sausage on the stove. It                         sizzles & splatters in the pan, turning it to char
as the water evaporates in the broil.               Sliced down the middle to cook them fully,
he eats them like starvation, its                      8am now and we have found no more answers
than those we started with; but we                 know ourselves, and that is something to celebrate.
We sleep till the afternoon is far                    above in the sky, today is tomorrow blooming.

Frank G. Karioris (he/they/him/them) is a writer and educator based in Pittsburgh whose writing addresses issues of friendship, masculinity, and gender. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, Collective Unrest, Maudlin House, Sooth Swarm Journal, and Crêpe & Penn amongst others. They are a regular contributor to Headline Poetry & Press.

Twitter: @FrankGKarioris