"erasure feat. uranus, neptune"

Michael Russell

Michael Russell (he / they) is Mama Bear to chapbook Grindr Opera (Frog Hollow Press). He’s queer and has BPD, Bipolar Disorder, and way too much anxiety. His work has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, Homology Lit, and Plenitude, among other places. He lives in Toronto and thinks you’re fantabulous.

“‘erasure feat. uranus, neptune’ explores queer erasure by linking an event in my life with the original 1990s dub of Sailor Moon, in which Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, who are lovers in the original anime, are rewritten as cousins. It’s worth noting that no scenes in the dub were altered or deleted with this change.”

     so, you two homos?

     in the coffee shop, a man
     butchers the air with breath,

     separates the muscle-
     meat of our cherry blossom

     fingers. my boyfriend tells him
     no. just friends

     & for the rest of the night
     just friends sit between us

     like sawed-off branches.
     as a teen i couldn’t wait

     for season 3 of sailor moon.
     finally! uranus & neptune.

     two lovers standing
     behind a theater curtain

     of cherry blossoms.
     rewritten & dubbed

     —just friends. cousins.

     when neptune tore
     through the crimson

     vine & told uranus
     she’d never let her die,

     the bullets entered—
     cherry pink, her flesh

     & uranus remembered
     the grazed bullets

     of neptune’s fingertips.
     erased. swept

     like cherry blossoms
     across the television.