Poetry Break

“Baby’s First Intersex Birthday”

by Matt Mitchell

from Ours Poetica
Like crystals of calcium hardened
on the edges of a cheese block
in the forgotten bottom fridge drawer,
booger guts glue my morning eyes shut
& I comb out clumps of my grandfather’s hairline
& not even the sun breaking through the window
wants to fall into me. The autoinjector pushes
too far into subcutaneous fat & out comes oxygen
& blood & then in goes a bruise.

After I clean up, I look in the hole
& see a terrarium of orchids slowly unpeeling.
I press a flashlight against my stomach
& watch the testosterone curdling inside
rearrange me into something so fragile
I’ll lose my feathers if someone else holds me too long.
Today is Tom Petty’s Southern Accents birthday,
So many people in our galaxy, which is just one
of many galaxies in a universe still growing,

& Tom chose to have his album share a birthday
with only me, & that alone is worth celebrating.
I’ll be 20-something according to my birth certificate,
but I am probably a MILF to someone.
The dog across the street weighs than a dime;
like a doorway, I, too was once hope before an empty room.
I go to work, spending the hours rearranging
the Drexel’s now-playing marquee into your name.
In case you happen to drive by on your way home
from the Dairy Queen with an ice cream cake

tightly buckled into the passenger seat.
My hourglass body plumps into the shape of a bullet;
I step outside, unmasked, and flash my tits at oncoming traffic.
The sky above is stolen, all the clouds look like faces,
& Franklin Park is empty during lunchtime.
I go & meet a duck. I feed him  hands of bread.
He’s probably killed hundreds of men like me
in cold blood, but I am in a forgiving mood today.

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