Elegy for My Elegies to Trans Girls’ Bodies
I said knowing well it’s all I have left (like coins
in the hotel-room sofa child’s room sidewalk) I’d never write another
never feel those names—a sentence ending
in my body—
but here I am (dropping a notebook off at the community college where the welcome mat
faces the wrong way toward the street welcoming us out) and I miss it:
building another box to bundle her body in another newsprint wrapping for
the raw red meat of our organs into somebody else’s lap to say
look at this
Look who I miss
What a mess I made
What a violence left of lips and hair and the lovely ream of her spine
(swinging when we danced.)
I’m doing it again.
I can see her bodies laid out the width of a page
even thinner I can lose her on my finger but it gets people to listen
when we say her names our dedications
are dead. Our dedications are the songs we have left
in favor of the elegy.
But elegy it works. It keeps us going fed me through one summer jobless
except trading bodies
and elegy? it helped me
to say I’m sorry
still sorry he walked past me.
Building a box to bury her bodies in, my dedication
means I’m living somehow.
But I can live without this
the way I live without you.
I can live and sell
myself in other ways.
(I guess I still have to. (
Golden Sings While Her Sister Gives Up Her Tail
A crowd gathers in the club she left & I swallow each man like a fish
filled with eggs take them in to my mouth & structure
them on my tongue. Men float the moans. I amplify
the clean ending the sea-foam sympathetic.
Call mine a body of electronic delay
Call it some kind of sea some current kind of body.
We found ourselves with body by the sea a body
washed up & scented like a salt-skin fish
Gills tremored like crab legs under sand fighting the weight of delay.
Something in our cells smelled the structure
of waves. But babe I am so sympathetic
to your loneliness. You choke & I I amplify
what you are gasping for.
I am amply
such an able body two wholes to embody
the waterlung & legless voice.
I used to think Pathetic
Me a school-less friend a freakish fish.
Even the whales had been to land pointed to the structures
left of their legs after a million year delay
& I confess I did delay
my coming to land ate more kelp than I cared kept yelling just to amplify
the waves. But then I thought of legs! How nice those structures
& walking would be!
We had dancing to embody!
& I had had enough of fin & sonic squeaking at the eels & fearing fishermen
who just looked in yellow plastic nautically-knotted so pathetic!
But how could I claim to be better still wearing my mother’s scales? I am empathetic
to all the creatures of indecision digestion & delay
to the people who throw a hand in in an attempt to fish
out a future
to speak up & after a time bravely amplify
the playful forked pianos of their teeth.
can keep the same structures the same strictures of their body? I will bite
any body’s impositions change the skin’s structures
the body’s breathy sympathy
the insane attachment to stay breathing. I will let my body
be sand soothing the motion of waves each a grain of delay.
I can lie lie down with you & be an ampoule
of sealed & sterile pleasure or the freshly netted fish
of joy swimming with blood. in the current I decorate this body
break shells & shards to pierce this structure.
I will make a hymn of fallow fishish
gurgles & gasps. I can be sympathetic
I can bridge the habitat & habit of delay
& make a fluid language make sound so fine
Brennan Bogert is a poet, freelance writer and editor, and collector of street-sounds. She regularly contributes LGBT Arts and Culture coverage for Go Magazine. Other places her work has appeared include Iowa’s Best Emerging Poets, Cathexis NW, The Paha Review, Little Village Magazine, and elsewhere. She graduated from The University of Iowa with B.A. in English and Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. You can learn more about her at brynnbogert.com.