Body Dyadic

tenderly he pulls down

                                                                        my binder,

my flesh—compressing

                                                                        an origami fold along

my shadow against the sun,

                                                                        my serrated spine—

my chest flayed open,

                                                                        how it splits in two:

the outline of myself & myself—

                                                                        neither stagnant nor shifting—

my voice is a visitor in my throat,

                                                                        he kisses down to where i want to say cock

my tongue is too gentle a narrator

                                                                        & i deadname my body instead.

to serve as a perpetual closet key—

                                                                        to invent a dialect of our own,

pulling knives from the throat,

                                                                        like a circus trick,

the tiring and bloody work—

                                                                        is performative at best

is a death sentence somewhere

                                                                        to create a name for the seam

where it rips us in two

bennett nieberg (they/them) is a queer Jewish poet living in Boulder, CO. They are a Pushcart Prize nominee and their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Entropy, Permafrost, Western Humanities Review, Birds Piled Loosely, Lunch Ticket,and The Hunger, among others. They are a co-founding editor of the journal What Are Birds.

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