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POETRY / Ode to My New Gender / Woody Woodger


Ode to My New Gender—May my Plight Keep its Mandibles Off Her



I swear this cat is trying to catch me masturbating.
I know 'cause the door's just cracked open                 and some lead-foot poltergeist

is all elbows across myhardwood. She just wants     to see what kind of creature
would manifest                                                            an unusable life with its own fist. Tonight, 
I regather the breath Plath used to etch into my neck. A skin cell

suddenly performs osmosis with a chisel. The air leaks black in my room. 

I'm fine with the cat here. She's just a fully condensed fog—green, eyes
lidless. Slowly raining in the corner.



No one writes good gay poems
anymore. Let me—

unlace your chest with a spoon, let the moths 
spill from the edge like mascara flakes.



These days, I have to peep on humanity
if I want in, like doing my best impression
of the conference table at the secret 

corporate powwow to reintroduce
lead and Xanax into the public water 
supply. My ex had a good way 

to numb me up, give me Listerine
tongue. She said she'd throw
herself down the stairs

on prom night, punish me for leaving
the carnation at home.
I wish I knew how to paraphrase.

I only talk with the huffy everybody
that already agrees
with me. They too think Trump

is a prison jumpsuit
injected with 14 raccoons
all working together to act 

like a person. That our healthcare
system is clearly a tapioca filled condom,
but the 40-somethings keep insisting

it’s a canteen. That mushy everybody,
they won't tell me if this poem is any good 
or not. Tell them you frowned once,

and they'll coo, stroke your cheek
with oven mittens. A human is a powerful
thing to waste, yet here I am.

Woody Woodger received his Bachelors from Westfield State University. His first chapbook, “postcards from glasshouse drive”, is from Finishing Line Press and his poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net. Woodger’s poetry and essays have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Prairie Margins, Exposition Review, Barely South, Rock and Sling, and Mass Poetry Festival, among others.