This month, as a part of the Poetry Coalition’s new initiative Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live, the Lambda Literary Poetry Spotlight will feature poems of and about the body. Our first feature is by Aidan Forster.


Faggot Practice


I didn’t go around ruining things—
when the boy punched me, I never bled,

just let him spit in my face & call me a faggot.
In truth I knew nothing of wounding,

couldn’t even punch to break a jaw,
the beautiful sound of hurt leaving a body.

My mother bandaged my cheek,
said don’t invite him over again,

& all summer I willed my scabs in,
tapped at my bruises, each a door

to my body that I could not open.
No one asked about the blemish,

how it slipped off my face
like a body into still water,

& I almost wanted it back:
this time, a siren light, a tube

of lipstick, a small clutch
of red flowers opened like a fist.


AIDAN FORSTER studies creative writing at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina. A Tin House Summer Scholar in Poetry, his work appears in or is forthcoming from Best New Poets 2017, BOAAT, Columbia Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, and Tin House, among others. His debut chapbook of poems, Exit Pastoral, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2018. He reads poetry for Muzzle Magazine. He was born in 2000.

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