“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

POEM FOR TODAY. Forrest Hamer


I wanted them bad: the mail-order x-ray glasses
that looked straight through clothes to bodies–

of those in my class, of the old-lady teacher
who wore miniskirts and an opened blouse, of grownups

whose eyes stopped meeting mine. I wanted to see
a privacy clothes know: the geography of the possible.

I waited.

And when the glasses hadn't come, and each day's
disappointment stung like slaps,

I worried that other people could see hard-ons hidden
by long-tailed shirts worn outside the pants,

by a walk-become-a-race, or by the distraction
of stubborness and anger. And arrogance.

Wondered if they could see how timid the penis
otherwise seemed, how fat still my chest was,

making improbable breasts. Wondered if they could
see the tenseness of no-more-but-not-yet,

of sleep-erupting dreams having nothing to do with the body
and everything, desire becoming specific.

And when the glasses still hadn't come
and there was cause to doubt their existence,

I began to imagine what I might see,
bodies nothing like those I have seen.

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