This week, a poem by torrin a. greathouse.

 

Study in Bioluminence
_________________________ for Castor

 

waiting at the grocery counter
you tell me of the radium girls.

how they painted watches for a starving
wage, so men could count the hours

without staring up against the cold
pearl-cheeked face of the moon.

how they painted themselves into jewel
-flowers that opened widest at night,

how this glamour poisoned them, slow
rot beginning at the edges of their lips.

i contemplate how both our bodies
are already heavy with themselves,

fatigue already licking the marrow-bone of us,
alike in how they know their cell’s own betrayal.

at night i lace your fingers between mine
align our untanned scars like watch hands.

we share too the unshifting hour
of our skin, wounds steady at 9:15.

your chest rises a slow gallop against me,
the steady run of dreams across your spine

its misfiring flood of nerves.
your boyfriend’s name sighs

into the light’s absence around us
and i imagine your whetted lips,

your sharply sainted glowing teeth,
how they could glitter my jawbone

into a cavity. how the pale tongue sharpens
the brush, like the romance of any two blades.

how no unknown is forbidden,
really, until it is too late.

watch hands only retreat against
the machinery of their own body.

i kiss your cheek, watch the collapsing light
hold its shape, temporary, against the dark.

——

torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer trans woman & cripple-punk from Southern California. Her work is published/forthcoming in Poets.org, Bettering American Poetry, Muzzle, Redivider, BOAAT, Waxwing, & The Offing. She is the author of two chapbooks, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm (Damaged Goods, 2017) & boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018). When they are not writing, their hobbies include pursuing a bachelors degree, awkwardly drinking coffee at parties, & trying to find some goddamn size 13 heels.



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