Trans* by Mary Meriam
Kitty is my monument to selfhood.
Drown me now, sailor.
Fir fir fir fir, o little white blossom, save me.
I told them Love poems have no pronouns in newsprint.
She misses her mother, had a few surgeries.
Now these wings on my back and a mustache.
Now she’s telling me her dreams and nightmares.
Just get off my back, this is my map.
Sleepy, erudite, easy, ooooo, bat legs, foxy.
It shares a language, it speaks for the self
and for more than the self; it speaks for the culture.
No way will I have a birded head or be suppressed,
“And that night, they were not divided.”
The poem serves as a substitute culture
with towns and cities of selfhood.
Then she starts blooming into a striped wallflower.
No one could look at the brown blind little creature.
Gertrude, what is trust? A haphazard dynamic.
Take this red road to Rahway. You will find the sticks.
The sticks will be bats. Toss them into the sea or hit homers.
The tiny, starving, thirsty, trampled plant is trust.
Trust is a mother holding her infant.
We learn the extent of our comfort in her arms.
Mary Meriam’s first collection, Conjuring My Leafy Muse, was nominated for the 2015 Poets’ Prize. Her second collection, Girlie Calendar, was selected for the 2016 American Library Association Over the Rainbow List. Her poems have appeared in 12 anthologies, including most recently, Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters (Penguin Random House, 2015). Poems are published or forthcoming in Literary Imagination, American Life in Poetry, Adrienne, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Cimarron Review, Rattle, The New York Times, The Women’s Review of Books, and Prelude.
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