Published on Academy of American Poets (

This Is What Makes Us Worlds

Like light but
in reverse we billow.

We turn a corner
and make the hills

You rearrange
my parts until no
more hurting.

No more skin-sunk
nighttime fear.

No more blameless death.

My hair loses its atoms.
My body glows
in the dark.

Planets are smashed
into oblivion,
stripped of their power
to name things.

Our love fills the air.

Our love eats
the deadly sounds men
make when they see
how much magic
we have away
from them.


Copyright © 2017 by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Reprinted from Split This Rock’s The Quarry: A Social Justice Poetry Database.


Joshua Jennifer Espinoza

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet and the author of I Don’t Want to Be Understood (Alice James Books, 2024), There Should Be Flowers (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016), and i’m alive / it hurts / i love it (Boost House, 2014).

Date Published: 2017-08-01

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