FIRST DAY IN MY LIFE AS A BLACK HOLE

Put the telephone
in the oven. Dial the house
phone number on the timer
and wait for it to heat up—
shout into the oven
until the shouts become bread.

*

When the loneliness
becomes edible, don’t trust it.
It will trick
you into thinking it’s
your mother’s bread.

*

She’s there and you’re
so greedy you’re eating
all of her words.
You’re making this her fault.

*

Try to pull warm
time out from deep in your
bones—Clutch your father’s
pocket watch. Wind it tighter.

*

A HEART CONDENSING UNTIL IT FORGETS COLOR

Loving me has nothing to do with a pronoun.
It has to do with seeing me vivid.
Touch the hair on my face.

I watch a Gillette commercial where a dad
teaches his trans son to shave
and it’s stupid and cliché and I hate it.
I hate it because I want all of that. I want
a man’s gentleness. I used to be a bell acolyte.

I was always waiting carefully
to peal. I feel like my body is an ending.
I’m ringing and ringing. Not just for myself but for
whoever I have been.

I avoid saying “dead name” because
it feels too true—like I could make myself dead
if I’m not careful.

Sometimes there’s no knife so I punch myself
till my skin is purple and sunset.
I’m a rapid something.

I’m not dying I’m just
pulling myself inside out.

This is a new hole.

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ROBIN GOW is a trans poet and young adult author living in rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL DEGENERACY (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook HONEYSUCKLE (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their first young adult novel, A MILLION QUIET REVOLUTIONS is forthcoming with FSG. Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, New Delta Review, and Washington Square Review. Gow received their MFA from Adelphi University where they were also an adjunct instructor. Gow is a managing editor at The Nasiona.