Ethan J. Murray

fairytale with chorus and bone

i found a flood in my parents’ house
bubbling up the sinks
the bathtub full of dandelions

i watched you sing
through the glazed church windows

the flicker of candlelight
dancing its love letter

as i slumped against the stone,
bullied by the rain

i saw a bluebird break the glass
halo of shards and snow

i could never
hold a low note like you

a knuckle-shaped dent in the wall
a curl of ivy, leaves like arrowheads

turned away from your outburst.
i promised not to hurt myself for love

a broken beehive smothered in lilies
is it possible to oversugar the earth?

i came at night
to pick the lock with a drop of amethyst

i could hear your voice, backbone of that chorus,
notes gathered like starlings in the rafters

i asked them to make me one of them,
the only way i know to get my name in your mouth

when you come back, you better be desperate
you better burn through me
like fire through the containment crew

the prayer book states: beg forgiveness
the prayer book begs: stay exactly as you were

Ethan J. Murray is a queer, autistic poet loved into existence by 12 headmates. They want to help make the world kinder for every neurodivergent person. Their work is forthcoming or published in Occulum Journal and Sidereal Magazine, and you can find them on twitter @ethanandco.

For me, transness is a perpetual search for the “right” self-presentation: a version of me that’s accepted and authentic. This search often causes me to feel otherworldly—maybe my truest form isn’t as any kind of person, but as a bird, a season, a note of a song. My trans identity is also affected by my love for other people. This piece helps me explore the relationship between changing myself for a particular person’s affections and evolving in search of a more individual (or universal) truth.