by Dante Fuoco
1st Place – Flash 405, August 2020: “Invented Language”
I will be safe, I tell the doctor who prodes my penis.
I want to be safe, I tell the man, my daddy tonight.
Just to be safe, I can water you, I tell the houseplant
lying the way men do
in well-lit rooms.
Well-Lit Rooms expertly deploys familiar language to electric effect. I loved watching the word “safe” shift and squiggle into something new, something decidedly other than “safe,” with every subsequent use.
Dante Fuoco is a queer solo performer, poet, and educator living in Brooklyn. He staged his latest piece “no! i be seal” off-off-Broadway. His writing has been anthologized by Bold Strokes Books and appears most recently in KGB Bar Lit. He manages arts and restorative justice programming at a grassroots organization based in The Bronx.
Photo credit: 王维家