“asexual dysphoria waltz” by Liam Strong

i wanted to be a slow dancer. then
i wanted not to move my body at all. not even

a ghost in upbeat funeral dirge should come
this close. once, when i ascertained the formula,

i danced with arced & straight body. i blessed god
for allowing my tongue to skirt along ridges of anonymity.

you are told how to jive at an age when being a man is
more than holding a spear of skin, to marry hand to waist.

more than to unknow myself, unlearn my name.
what god can fuck the unfuck out of me?

what azúcar or solvent builds a mecca in
the genitals when no song separates you

from being held? the church of a navel chimes
with some lonesome moonlight. the grease of memory

bore a child i yearned in me. she would be able to love
fruit, taste the peels of bedsheets, keep tempo with eyes.

i want to wrench out the womb i was not given,
drape it over the dance hall lights, & leave again.


Liam Strong identifies as asexual-bisexual. He is the editor-in-chief of NMC Magazine. Currently, he is working on his bachelor’s in English rhetoric, while working as an English tutor and staff writer for White Pine Press, where he reports politics and writes a biweekly music review column. You can find his works in these latter publications, as well as Impossible Archetype, Painted Cave, Dunes Review, Rusty Scythe, Monday Night, IDK Magazine, and Leaves of Ink. During his scant free time, he devours texts from philosophy, psychology, true crime, poetry, and flash fiction.