Two Poems


CW: body horror/potential dysphoria triggers

Accompaniments: Pretending by SOPHIE, I Am Made of Chalk by Crystal Castles

Break the body
Extend the limbs to the point of cracking
Disenchant them from their sockets
And rearrange
Remove the breasts
Narrow the pelvis
Let the cunt stay
But fix that good for nothing clitoris
Tease the sinew
Make the marrow boil
Scrape away the skin
Curl inward, sinner
Remember moments of conversation and be unable to place them
Be your grandmother, locked in a hospital cage of disproportionate fluids
Be, in London, a bird with bloody wings who cannot fly
Be unhappy
Be unwell




Down in Otago
In the nineteen-fifties
You felt scared and alone

A while ago I visited you
Out in the garden
One of the other women
Came up and started talking

—have you seen
—the girl
—about her

Structures are shifting
Minds are chattering
A triangulation
Is occurring

Because I am the girl
Though the woman does not know
And I am her
And I am you

Along with the baked muffins and sharing puzzles and odd moments of praise
long ago
You gave me a gift
(It would be rude to disregard it)

 You do not understand—

Why am I in this place?

It’s never been easy for you
And now it is harder
Your skin is thinner
Your heart is weaker
They don’t let you drink too much water

 In sixty years I am you


There, during the visit
The garden is bright
The nurses are smiling
My father is angry
And you and I are frail

About the author
Erin is a History Honours student at the University of Auckland (everyone's favourite establishment). She writes when she can find the energy to do so, which is hardly ever, and is interested (both academically and personally) in identity formation, queer stories and popular culture.