2 Poems | Sarah M. Bess

Injection #9

Piercing muscle makes a dull sound
like ripping wet paper into thin strips
that dry in slowly coiling spirals
fragile monuments to this resistance

like a needle on a record
an inch deep in my thigh
whispering questions and condemnations
demanding citations
even as I bleed

It builds until it screams in me
insisting on a reality that denies my existence
an ontology of my nonbeing
the science of my erasure

Another male
who thinks he’s a female

Pay double taxes with two genders
freak show

To be a woman you must have a uterus
you must bleed
you must have the capacity to create life
that is the natural order

That’s not a trap
that’s obvious as fuck

You need a bullet to the head

All I know is it needs a nose job

Trannies are known to undergo
serious mental issues

Oxalic acid down your throat

To be a woman
you must bleed

Stay safe


Injection #1

You’d think it would slide in easy
narrowed to such a fine point
trailing tiny viscous droplets
but it doesn’t

My skin resists violation
puckers before it gives way
like a star collapsing

The next part is easy
layers of slick fat
like a mouth
to swallow this intruder

Pushing against muscle
more a sound than a feeling
like gravel from the driveway
kicked across concrete
like teeth

I breathe in and squeeze down
like pulling a trigger in slow motion
watching candles burn
fading lives
oil spilling into darkness

I am whole
for a little while

Sarah M. Bess is a queer trans woman originally hailing from the rural dystopia of Fairdealing, Missouri. She is currently a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Her work is forthcoming in Matrix Magazine. Follow her on Twitter: @smbess

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