Poem: “What You Need to Know Is”

The New England Trans United pride march will be held in Northampton this Saturday, Oct. 3, from 11 AM-5 PM. I would love to march again this year, but my husband and I will be in New York City on family business for most of October. Please send me your photos and videos to post on this blog.

In honor of Trans Pride, I’d like to share this poem from my new chapbook, Swallow, which is now available from Amsterdam Press:

What You Need to Know Is

Not in my urinal or my soprano,
white rubber corset or tobacco whiskers.
Not in the gun or the red bloom
on the tumbled gown. Not prone and not aiming.
I could presume to say that you dream
of Lazarus and if it is anywhere,
it is there, in the nights your dry tongue
burns for wasted water but more so
in the mirror dream where your hand spills it away.
Sometimes I, too, soften it like the twilight
and then I am that lightbulb questioner
who slaps you awake with a hose.
I in my nursing smock, I in my meat-stained apron,
how I wish I did not know this
much as you wish I were not beside you
(O my mustache, O my silver-tipped fingers)
sweating through the Gloria.