Nonbinary Pirate Simile Walks the Plank

by Rebecca Martin

I want to be alone but it’s like a gravitational
field wants to press matter close it’s not like
I stopped loving the freckled arms beside
me in bed it’s more like the dead pine needles
on the balcony in straight lines heading
for an edge to plunge from it’s not like
the sigh of relief when I run my hands over
angry red marks in my shoulders after
surpassing the recommended eight hours
with a binder strapped to my chest I try
to imagine it’s like I’m a swashbuckling
smuggler hiding something close to a body
something gravitational something
I could give up if I really wanted
but that I’m not ready to send overboard
it’s like my gender has a hole
in the center of it that I keep sending
a crew into but the mainsails won’t
stay hoisted and no ships
come back from its circular
absence it’s not like anyone asked me
where I’d bury my chest if I could
it’s not like anyone asked me to stop
holding salt in my mouth like
a waiting deer like a hull-breach
like three bone chasms and a row
of teeth in a sea cave that
fills and fills like my
whole body a fissure
without any promise
of solid ground

Rebecca Martin (she/they) is the author of High-Tech Invasions of the Flesh (Bottle Cap Press). Her work centers embodied queer femme experience, in conversation with and troubled by the parameters of history, archive, and myth. Their work can also be found in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Defunkt Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Cotton Xenomorph, Peach Mag, Muzzle Magazine, and others, and received an Honorable Mention in the 2022 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. They are a graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program, where they were awarded the Graduate Creative Writing Award in Poetry and served as poetry editor for literary magazine 45th Parallel and department steward for their graduate employee union. She currently lives in Pittsburgh.

Tip Jar

%d bloggers like this: