It’s true that I’m im-
patient under affliction. So?
Most of what the dead can

do is difficult to carry. As for
gender I can’t explain it
any more than a poem: there

was an instinct, I followed
it. A song. A bell. I saw
deer tracks in the snow. Little

split hearts beckoned me
across the lawn. My body
bucked me, fond of me.

Here is how you bear this flourish.
Bud, I’m buckling to blossoms now.


What still grows in winter?
Fingernails of witches and femmes,
green moss on river rocks,
lit with secrets... I let myself
go near the river but not
the railroad: this is my bargain.
Water boils in a kettle in the woods
and I can hear the train grow louder
but I also can’t, you know?
Then I’m shaving in front of an
unbreakable mirror while a nurse
watches over my shoulder.
Damn. What still grows in winter?
Lynda brought me basil I crushed
with my finger and thumb just to
smell the inside of a thing. So
I go to the river but not the rail-
road, think I’ll live another year.
The river rock dig into my shoulders
like a lover who knows I don’t want
power. I release every muscle against
the rock and I give it all my warmth.
                              Snow shakes
onto my chest quick as table salt.
Branches above me full of pine needle
whips: when the river rock is done
with me, I could belong to the evergreen.
Safety is a rock I throw into the river.
My body, ready. Don’t even think
a train run through this town anymore.

Related Poems

from "feeld"

        bieng tran is a unique kinde off organe / i am speeching

        materialie / i am speeching abot hereditie / a tran

        entres thru the hole / the hole glomes inn the linden / a

        tran entres eather lik a mothe / wile tran preceds esense

        / her forme is contingent on the feeld / the maner sits

        cis with inn a feeld / wee speeche inn 2 the eather / wile

        the mothe bloomes / the mothe bloomes inn the yuca

Nine Haiku

every morning god
I make of my body a
bridge, a cat, a corpse

I love the fully
inflated tire upright in
gravel – near the car

I don’t have to go
anywhere today – I move
to make the birds move

the finches threaten
one another simply through
acts of moving close

I long to meet who
I most fear – my mother and
her body in mine

tracing the boy I
see his mother – her hand out-
lined under us both

lifting the blinds – a
morning prayer – prepare this
house to receive light

again the seatbelt
would not go on – not with these
thrashers in the yard

the gate is inside
of me – I am holding it
open with a rock

Canyon of Heroines

This bag of crunchy Cheetos is making me thirsty. Good thing I picked up a Fanta orange soda on the way home just in case. Walking back, I couldn't help noticing how most of the neighborhood has been replaced by strange towering steel and plate glass structures. A man was lying across the sidewalk in front of one of them and asked me for money. Greece is being bullied by Germany holding it to a double standard. When they had the tickertape parade for the US Women's Soccer Team this week and said "Canyon of Heroines" on the radio I started to laugh and realized it wasn't funny. The guy at an adjacent table in the coffee shop was looking at me smokily for an hour like he wanted to do something to me all over the counter, and I sat poised anticipating an advance that never arrived. I have trans woman friends who desperately need hope and jobs and love and safety and family. I wish I could be twenty places at once and have the power to fix everything but in a stealth way so I wouldn't be just grabbing the spotlight. True Detective is a TV show that a lot of people seem to enjoy. I trained myself to speak at a higher base pitch every morning until it became quasi-permanent because that is how I know I do not depend on the medical establishment or strangers' willingness to imagine charity. Much of the street is submerged underwater due to the storm. That other salesman can assist you—I'm helping this young lady right now, he said, placing his hand on the small of my back. The entire auditorium of people staring me down was hostile but knew they couldn't show it in public except for occasional frown lines darting from between their eyebrows. Please stand clear of the closing doors. I can't breathe in this dress. I can't seem to figure out where that smell is coming from in the apartment. Gender identity or expression will not protect you from being fired in most employment situations nor does being a transsexual. Split a capsule of medication into smaller doses by opening, dividing, and mixing it among separate containers of a mushy food like applesauce. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed this week amid much controversy. Did I just write all that? History is transmisogynistic but it won't be the more of it there is. The beautiful woman suggested I put my bare legs across her lap in the dark so I did and she gently ran her fingers along them. Wheat germ is where the problems all started. Later you asked if you could put your arm around me on the train but there was a scary guy shouting at everyone in the subway car and I didn't want to provoke him. People I love are at risk of being violently harmed or murdered every day, or they suffer from suicidal urges because of how the world fails to see us as people in a million sharp pointy little ways. Welcome to the military. The three-panel dressing room mirror had a Busby Berkeley effect which gave me a little thrill but I might have just imagined it. I wish I knew how to code things with boolean operators. I wish I knew how to read philosophy. The x-ray machine operator kept repeating "STOP BREATHING NOW DON'T BREATHE" each time he activated the machine. #CaitlynJenner