Thursday Poem

we have always been

Frenzy deep down, quiet on the out, we were tangle,
caught between woman and man, impossibility and lack,

no gender a tongue knew name, the richness of body
plundered by language, left aching for touch and a place

at the human table. Hysterical, i’d obsess over lip smear,
panic and pull at my hair. But you natured within, lifted

our skin and found the bones holding, gauzy, gossamer,
fanned tender with air, also liver, fascia, spleen, our

heart. Sweet Tangle, i felt you, yet deceived myself
they are nothing, a newborn ghost crawling away where

slur shame and knuckles couldn’t knock. Haunted boy,
some lives come full stop, sputter, jump, dress and go.

We don’t have to tear self apart. Even gender can
change. This isn’t quite a eulogy, you won’t mourn this

body, but lay it down for the other, tap soil, gnaw roots,
swallow jade and shadow your eyes. Intuit our body,

geologic, history pre and post. See them fissure. Watch us
rupture. Understand us, together, if the world allows.


Let me love you the way you loved me, held me when
i sought bourbon erase, against every blade of glass

i could turn back on myself, the flint sparked to burn this
house to cinder, to unintelligible bone. i want us together,

like we’ve always been, mystic and rare as Datura blooming
along Brooklyn sidewalks pocked and cracked, damp earth,

city sweat, bus fumes, rose water, gates ajar, palimpsest.
i want us in sunlight, ready to wash the sky clean.

by Xtian W
from Pank Magazine
13.1 / Spring / Summer 2018