Cosmonauts Avenue

To be trans and adored—a cruel dream when my mouth is full of blood.
I spit up cold pale tongues still crying boy,
face pressed to midnight pavement, the hand of my body a soft
monster on my raw teeth. I name my body babe, I am desperate for tender hands,
even if they must be my own. Night presses cool knuckles to my tear
slick jaw and I wish this water were rain, I wish something would save

me, skin me clean. I rise, bruised on every bone save
the finger of my spine. I’m tough with blood,
unallowed to tear,
jaw tight as a fist like I’m not just a boy,
reaching for the hand
of another boy, wanting to place soft

lips on the skin of his wrist. I want to love soft
as the wedding song of rose roots and rain. I want to say, Save
my hands

for adoration,
but it comes out wrong— I’m a match & babe, I’m starving, and blood’s
everywhere when she strikes. I spit out slippery mouthfuls, boy
hooked so deep in the meat of my throat a fist won’t tear

it out, no matter how I beg. Oh, how I wish I could beg. A tear
of desperation, a rampage of hurt, how terrible to always speak soft
when wounded, & this is what girlhood does, even to its boys,
how unbearable to be quiet about pain. I lock my teeth, save
my aching til it’s worth something. I hoard my blood
and bruises because joy is out of my hands.

Babe sneers & I bind my hands—
I refuse to use them for this. Babe, tear
a hole through me, pull out all my ropes of blood.
I forgive you your brutality. I hold you soft
on my skin, I love you, which means I no longer expect you to save
One last punch, a sucker, & Babe, fists blue and raw, lays a boy

out on the tarmac, rolls her eyes, says, boy,
if you don’t stop crying, no one will ever love you.
My swollen hands
still clasped tight, a small pile of loneliness for sale. I want to save
love for someone else. I want to walk away. But it falls from me soft
as rain, I can’t help it, it falls like blood

from a wound. It’s just me & Babe, after all. We can’t be saved
from each other. Thick muscle inside our boy

chest flexes, we are of one blood
and bone. I want to kiss her ripped knuckles, hand

her my mouth, run us both with tears
until we are skin to skin, blurred soft.

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