to the people who call me brave
that there is no bravery in running
from a house on fire.
that this story begins with body
like animal skinning itself in reverse
& sewing itself up wrong.
that dressing like this feels less
like dressing up & more like dressing
after slipping boy from my body
i am a burn victim
trying to grow a second skin
& this is not bravery
it is survival
it is trading fire
for firing squad
& declaring my body
when you train the shotgun
of a mouth
on a body that you say cannot exist
i have already begun to fade
and your bullets pass through me
bra / stolen from the summer girl
wrapped tight as a belt
[the bible belt?]
around my chest,
wishing this cotton looked like flesh.
knowing it doesn’t.
i wonder if this is how my boyfriend’s binder
makes him feel / guilt begins /
to flow like blood.
i have grown accustomed to this / rusty lipped guilt /
thoughts that taste like every beating
i have ever avoided.
i want to take a razor to this traitor /
beard across my face
[dig past the hairs to my skin / paint it like my lips.]
every time i sing the word True
in tune with Laura’s pain
it feels like biting my tongue
i wish i could watch the blood / splatter into the sink.
a perfect bloody asterix.
[just invisible / enough.]
it’s not that i don’t want people to see,
but i remember how it feels / not to eat,
& guilt goes down easier / with wine.
i never intended to hide,
i would love to walk a mile in her shoes
but they don’t come in my size,
& i couldn’t / afford them anyway
[not in this economy.]
torrin a. greathouse is a queer, non-binary cripple-punk from Southern California, and a Co-Founder of Black Napkin Press. Their work has been published or is upcoming in Rust + Moth, Chiron Review, Crab Fat Magazine, The Feminist Wire, & Caliban Online. Their first full length collection “In Search of Stray Gods,” is upcoming this year.