I am the lead singer of the band. I am not a good lead singer. We are not a good band. My voice is powder. My voice is thirty seconds into a cough drop. My voice faucets. I am the lead singer of the band. I do it for the ass. The bathroom stalls of dicks. The free drinks and unplugged smoke alarms. I am the lead singer of the band who goes on stage and makes balloon animals. Here’s a giraffe. Here’s an elephant that lost its tusks. Just kidding—that shit was sawed off. I am the lead singer of the band. I chain-smoke in alleys, pull my skirt up while my bassist presses my back against the green dumpster. I always keep the cigarette lit. I am the lead singer of the band that tours the country in a van, playing gigs to Christmas ornaments and wayward hearts and lost and broken children. I am the lead singer of the band that you have never heard of but have dreamt about, this sound we make: the buzz of an amp, the out of tune Fender, the tap tap tap of the hi-hat. I am the lead singer of the band with a tambourine player. His name is Steve. He is allergic to bees. We are all allergic to bees.
Leigh Chadwick is the author of the chapbook Daughters of the State (Bottlecap Press, 2021) and the poetry coloring book This Is How We Learn to Pray, illustrated by Stephanie Kirsten. Her forthcoming books include her debut poetry collection Your Favorite Poet (Malarkey Books, 2022) and the collaborative poetry collection Too Much Tongue (Autofocus, 2022), co-written with Adrienne Marie Barrios. Leigh’s poetry has appeared in Salamander, Passages North, The Indianapolis Review, Identity Theory, Reservoir Road, and Hobart. She can be found online at www.leighchadwick.com and on Twitter at @LeighChadwick5.
image: MM Kaufman