I’m looking at their faces. At their purely naked

bodies and their ability to push and be pushed.

I’m blown away. Rainbows didn’t exist then,

but the presses did and they were hot and wild

and they were lovely. I’m reading their words

and holding them up to my own heart to see if

they match; I will never be as brave.

I came out to my dad

we were sitting on the couch

watching television. I’d written a lengthy


in the notes app of my phone it

had seemed the right thing to do

at the time.

They pushed and pushed and were pushed out

of windows and onto the spikes of pitchforks

and I didn’t know. I arrived too late to have

known before. I’m looking into the faraway

eyes of a likely-dead lesbian with a sign that


I am your worst fear.

I am your best fantasy.

She’s beautiful. I would have loved to meet her,

to speak with her. I want to meet them all, every

single one. They are all of them courageous and

lovers and lovers always win. Even then.

I felt foolish reading my dad

the memo. like reciting

modern Shakespeare

something equally

dramatic / I felt

really just me

trying to explain,

to figure out

how I should do this

all I should have done

was just say it.

They were selling LGBTQ postcards in the gift

shop. Though I could see a pair of rotten capital

-ist hands all over of them, I bought four in black

and white. In one, a class photo of transsexual men

and women. One of the women wears an apron and

carries a rolling pin.

My dad was quiet

“okay.” what I expected

from him the next morning

he had “googled me” so he


for sure what pansexuality meant

when I was so afraid that

I still didn’t.

I’m looking into their faces, wondering what kind of

people they were. I’m assuming they are all long gone

now. Still they are bold and beautiful and I hope that

they died in bed as someone loved and not at the end

of a pitchfork or a burning pyre. I could probably find

out their true fates but somehow that seems disrespectful

to their memories. Or maybe they’d want me to know.

Respect has to be earned.

I was so scared it was fear.

Fear that I was making this

up (to belong) or trying

to be something

I wasn’t I stayed awake all night

thinking and doing “research”

trying to make sense of it

I’d never thought about it

I was ______ or this

since the beginning

sex wasn’t something I ever

really thought about but love

was and attraction I was learning

fluid for me. That was a relief

I didn’t know I needed

the framework wasn’t so rigid

I could be with X/Y/someone all

of a sudden I could know

that mattered

to me.

“Bleached Aviary”

mother shaking flower a tiny

green world scatter gravel

gone now I follow rivers

black L shaped dark V

yellow lost run boy; wave

wood lightning away white

reflection plank the blinds

outside in years blow canopy

porcelain stomach berries love

war; rectangles creamy squares

dying mint eel a

ruckus should pears pressed

against the night we met

tree speckled leaning awfully

close moss mouth shooting up

onion skins thinning wire

photo tucked ley lines bite

stained stick monster a moat

the body between; the laugh

hinge memories scraps dripped

family dry perched thick not

around here locket curves

bench crying knot scratch

cross missing umbrella still

stand ending falling back

pit branch the fig never

sitting rain; still mulch nerves

looking down ivy face quiet

cloak the camera storm it

coming across bird skin

vessel flesh hops waiting

and then fly.


“Water Scrying”

It’s 3 a.m. and so am I / it’s and 3 a.m. being

a way to examine my shortcomings / history

and then search / bare shoulder / milky coffee

seems like / a / good idea despite 3 a.m.’s

shortcomings – roll over / sensations trapped / in

the / down covers touch / me / lazy sex

– sundays / something / at 3 a.m.

my pillow / talks caressing my notebook

/ and my phone look / similar




“To Clean Up 8:32 p.m.”

One of                                                               One of

those nights                                                     those moments

it’s only 8:30                                                    it’s been five

when it’s just                                                   hours since I

me and I-don’t-know                                     last saw you

what to play                                                    and I still

or how to be                                                   don’t know

i wasn’t okay                                                  what to play

earlier and now                                             I kind of want

i’m just numb empty                                    you to check on me

that’s unfortunate                                         like you did earlier / sometimes that isn’t enough

numb is a really good word                        but I don’t think I told you that.