steel wool blanket

Back to Issue 15

the crickets come to the window
to promise i can be more clean.
beneath skin. beneath bone.
beneath chicken flesh & guts
there is a tissue paper garland.
one thought biting the tail
of another. that is where my teeth
are gift wrapped. that is where
my skull glows full of cave worms.
i sit in the kitchen sink with
a duck call & a gun in my lap.
in this country anyone could have
a gun in their lap & so i have one too.
i name the gun “honesty”
& pet her like a dog. i just wanted
to shine like the glass cabinet
full of plates we cannot eat off of.
skin comes off like a tasty-cake wrapper.

tell me the cream is right. tell me
i am as soft as you hoped i would be.
you aren’t a man until another man
takes you completely into his mouth.
cuts his gums on your sharpness.
delight is a blimp i once saw burn
on the front lawn. we put on sunglasses.
we took out lawn chairs. tell me,
are you going to sleep in the guest room
or on my forehead? i have space.
the blood was always alarming
after sleeping in such a device.
but, i’ve gotten used to it.
to seeing the wreckage & learning
i still need to call it my body.
tell me, when were you last
comfortable? i think i was four.
i stood naked in a thunderstorm.
washed. raw. electric.

By Robin Gow

Robin Gow is a trans poet and witch from rural Pennsylvania. It is an author of several poetry books, an essay collection, YA, and Middle-Grade novels in verse, including Dear Mothman and A Million Quiet Revolutions. Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, and New Delta Review. Fae lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania with their queer family.