Thaumaturge, am I epicene?

nan beaut
Nan Goldin

My arms bent backwards, rope in place

my chest outwards, straight, only beguiling by the slant of my breast






grit with a bloodied mouth

chant the words that stain my heart till my clothes turn dark


oh please




kiss my fingers that have become so frail’

my hair clumped in the knot that a clenched fist makes;

my knuckles

knees bruised blue by the beating of a brace; my teeth,

rusted –

some gone, some left; with my eyes now only solid in my sight

wishing memories erased; my ears singed by the searing lamp above

calluses of my feet still bending upwards, my last dance for the stage

told I am a sinner for my thoughts were never replaced

my eyes grasp the thinning line of day(light?)

crushed fingers, then screams

I am told my body is obscene

my dress grazes not past my knees

buckled, bruised, ruined

mascara moistened and my eyes lay in black seas


a hermaphrodite!

but I know no other way

gravel-spit, a shovel hit

my bare cheeks briskly bask in muddy

now-runny slivers of soil and spewed blood

he kisses then quickly kicks me

(always had bad taste in men)

a bourbon-lipped lad bawls at me

“What’s it to you, fucking tranny?”

muffled, mouth still in muzzle

till at last they sullenly sleep like bacchanalian brutes left astray

find strength in a hidden knife in my boot besides my back

contract: back, breathe; cut rope and I try to break free

outwards, up, convex no more, uplifted at once

my heart that is the empty sky rises up

out, my chest waving as if clout, angelic now,

arms out, in the headlight of the cars in which they drove

my eyes still bloodied, blinded, my senses rationed

a sudden, quivering fall – the hunter has shot yet another helpless fawn

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