Gwen Benaway / Three Poems

This piece originally appeared in Issue 3.31 (Winter 2017).



say you love


place a hand
between my thighs,


feel the soft small
line of me,


transsexual clit,
a boy cock


gone over
to water.


my breasts
are smaller


than the girl
you often fuck,


what I lack
in volume,


I make up
in enthusiasm,


hold me down,
your body in me


I’ll be a river
running east,

my hips, a lake
to swim beneath you.


you like girls
like me, it’s ok


to want a body
unfinished, in (trans)it


more or less
a woman,
you can be a boy
as wide as sky,


cross borders,
make revolutions


inside me,
unlock us


in a touch,
bridge my currents


before I become
an ocean,


my cunt is new earth,
your cock is spring,


not a perfect love,
our secret want


your tongue,
my bones


our hands still
spark together


we make do
with what desire


and our fear
allow us.





the hard point,
estrogen high tide-
when the patch
releases the most
of what makes
me a girl.


breasts ache,
swell with change
as my emotions
descend in currents
to a dark heart
at the lake bottom.


float on driftwood,
grip this life
like an anchor
as I drift further
from the shore
I call myself.


there is no hope
in the deep water,
no dream lifts
under me, just
bracken, plastic litter.


I survive because
I know how to swim,
I survive because
I know to surrender,
I survive because
my way out is under.






the death of a star,
a sudden nuclear fusion


in the cold heart
of the universe,


a celestial body
becomes light.


every star dies,
a promise sewn


into the filament
of space and time.


some stars collapse,
become a slow pull


into entropy, a rupture
of darkness and sediment.


some stars burn out
in a rush of energy


we can see for centuries
after their death, a halo


of fire, radiation, and metal
with more force than the sun.


this is my offering, boy to girl
in the span of heartbeats,


leaving a luminous scar
on the chart of the sky,


my body on fire,
my soul sparking,


a bright death
singing on the horizon.

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