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who tends to the bones and drives them from the bodies?
what are reckless sunsets but pastures of broken men,

burlap sacks of abandoned testosterone turned glitter.
cowboys, marauders of muck and guns,

caricatures of our dreamiest masculinity particles,
john wayne gods with plastic colts on california television.

every viewmaster card of great plains turns neon.
rhinestones just colorless chandelier skin,

tiny skylights around your neck.
i am brilliant as diamond but cheap as silver.

i am a deepened voice exploding in ohio heat.
a citrus of queer sky beating against straight summer.

a flicker of rubber city spilling over faces
of unknown gender.

what if touch was fireworks dissolving into stars.
or touch as stars dissolving into fireworks.

have you felt the membrane of tangerines
stick to your teeth?

the kisses of prescription onto planets
of evolving genitalia?

machines of hormone turn my whole laryngeal
prominence into a laughlight.

my body a parade. my body a whole perfect piece of ass.
my needles full of so much goodness

they crack open a whole garden of honeyed intersex.
but what is this forest licking the gravity

of my inner thighs?
what is this bodily desire to finally become handsome?

i don’t know, but it’d be so metal if you gave me a dollar
every time you misgender me at the post office.


a razor-blade of tangerine coating a Hollywood sky
sewn from a wedding dress,

what is this sweet leaf that curls our bodies
to look like god’s ribcage.

there are so many things I don’t understand.
like how there’s a town named Chevy Chase.

or why I dance in ballrooms of people,
just hoping to bump into someone

and learn what an accepted body is.

because in Genesis 3:23
I am the body
banished from Eden,

sent to dig my boyness
out of the ground.

in the Myth of Sisyphus
I am both the boulder
and the pushing.

you’re out of touch my baby
my poor discarded baby

Hollywood, you’re so money
you don’t even know it

with all of your dick-print denim boys
on album covers,

your neon ghost syphoning Coca-Cola,
short-shorts, and testosterone
out of a jogging ocean.

my ghost is the life
my X-chromosomes said I’d live.

only problem is: the rest of my body
didn’t get the whole message.

because a rolling body gathers no moss.
and an uncertain body gathers nothing at all.


Matt Mitchell is a gluten-free, heartbroken, intersex writer from Columbus, Ohio. He is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection The Neon Hollywood Cowboy (Big Lucks, 2021).

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