Glue, gurneys, the orchestra
There was no red carpet, but gurneys
in a line and doctors, like motors,
and yelling —
a schizophrenic man, whose villain was everyone, improvising
a melody of slurs
over the beeping of machines:
his most fortissimo note, Tranny,
but still insipid, like a dull timpani,
like a muted trombone. I practiced
my poetry in the emergency room, writing
beside the vein, eyeing
the red run of blood; it felt like ecstasy, it felt like sex. Lie still,
and let me glue your wound,
said the physician over the hospital’s sweet instrumental.
There is nothing to be solved here;
no equations to be balanced — instead, the howls
of church organs with the murmurs of prayers.
with regular petals and in five parts, sepals
above the ovary, and yellow.
I have never believed before.
I diagnose the plant as begonia, but now,
set aside your grief for this: I tell you
it is the yellow begonia
that is the deity,
rising from the Earth with X.
I played music for our makeout, classical,
and we French-kissed as I slid my hand into your underwear.
I bit you, the kick of pain as a crescendo of the violin played
from my laptop. You were speechless like the music, wordless.
I know the art of the wordless better than you, I know violin.
My other hand rested on your neck, lightly gripped, and I know sex.
I tightened my fingers as the laptop loudened, relaxing my grip
with every diminuendo. The concerto’s first movement
finished on an E, and
you could finally breathe again.
London Chastain (she/they) is a poet and anthropologist at the University of Rochester. She is fascinated by the intersection of poetry and politics; how oppressed narratives are weaponized through the arts. They explore kink, being trans, healing from trauma, and suicidality in their poetry, and always with the intention of stating what her readers never had the words for.