Daughter Standing Spray 

 

I never wanted to be anyone’s

dead daughter, daughter 

in the water, in the fire, 

in the earth, falling through 

air, blue and pink ribbons 

trailing, red roses and tissue 

paper Mother, Sister, Daughter

standing spray beside me 

in a white casket, white 

wedding dress, lace like spiderwebs 

taut before the trap and 

struggle, fight, taught before — 

Listen to me, I come 

from the sperm who dove first 

into golden yolk, I left my brethren

and I will leave you too, you 

and your sugar and spice burning

cannot touch me. I am the start, 

the beginning, the exhale, I’ve been

waiting for —me.

Trans Boy Sits Alone

In The Library At Lunch

 

In another body,

in another life,

I was the tallest

guy at the table —

caught your eye

ordering a burger, please,

fries and one teenage girl,

please, in a red and white

burgerhop cap, please.

I’ll leave my number

on the receipt for you

so later we’ll be on

the old bench of my dad’s

pickup, two kids

under high school stars —

sucking your lips, you grab

my crotch and I don’t push

you away, I pull you

in, you pull me in,

over and over in

another body, in

another life.

Swan Song

 

Every night she’d unwrap, pull

the pond of blood-soaked cotton

from her toes. Each foot a swan splayed long

with a broken neck— You wanted

 

a ballerina, like your grandmother,

Josephine, spun tight in pink satin and tulle—

 

naked, no, stuffed

into blue tights, that storming hive

 

of little girls, plié, plié, plea, plea,

please, please, please, you taught me

 

to dance with burned face, throat full

of worms, taught me to beg

 

for release.

Fancy

 

I wonder what it feels like

to feel fancy. To know

you look good, to have everything

fit just right. It’s hard

to imagine. I mean, what

would I even wear? No. I’m not

that little boy being wrestled

into the long black and purple

 

dress, the burr of acrylic tights.

And after, red-eyed, bleating,

 

It’s ok. Any boy would wear

this if he had to wear a dress.

 

Purple like Dontello’s mask,

elbow and knee pads. Protection

 

while he cracks skulls, bashes

his staff over the congregation of purple

 

foot soldiers. Sunday School

lasted all day back then. That

 

small white room where we learned

about the rich man who dressed in fancy

 

purple robes and feasted despite

knowing a hollow bellied man was dying

at his front gate. We in our crisp little

hats and buckled shoes were told how

the rich man went to hell, purple robes

and all, where he lives to this day, scorched,

not a drop of water, mercy, for his withered,

greedy tongue.

Court .jpg

Court Castaños grew up adventuring along the Kings River in the San Joaquin Valley. After moving to Santa Cruz to study art Castaños now spends time writing poetry and exploring the redwoods. Previous work published in The San Joaquin Review, Boudin of the McNeese Review, and crazyhorse among others. Read more at courtcastanos.com

Clarissa Bravo.JPG

Clarissa Bravo is an artist from Mexico and there is no better way to describe her work than cute, funny, and colorful on some days as well as experimental pop-art on others, depending on how she's feeling. For her, color contrast in her art is like eye candy and it's mainly inspired by pop-art culture. The most important thing for her when creating art is to play as if she were a kid, that way everything flows. Art has to be fun, if not, what's the whole point?