PASSING – Megan LeAnne
It’s been only nine months since
I started passing
you tell me.
Eleven since the last time
I made love.
It is August.
Cicadas burrow into bark
and I think I’d like to be
Cicadas burrow into bark and
June bugs drift around the lake
we would like to stick our toes in.
The curdled clay between
flesh and flimsy toenails
zaps a school of cinnamon sting
up the branches of my spine.
It is only later I confess
to a search engine that I do not know
what passing means,
and it is only later
at the Mexican Restaurant when
you wait outside the men’s restroom
for a stall instead of a urinal
I look in the mirror
and see that I am a girl,
and feel that I am a girl.
And for once in my life this
becomes a fistful of armor
a slow whistle of a stove kettle
bread in my cupboards,
milk in my fridge, clothing
that fits around my name.
When the stranger says
Have a good night, man
I wonder if, for you, this is triumph or
if this is the domestic flip of an awkward coin
you never invited to your mouth.
A coin everyone expects you to suck on.
I want you to suck on my fingers.
I want baritone saxophones, honeycomb
and afternoon rainstorms battering the lilacs
in the garden behind my house.
I want unclean fingernails and unembarrassed kisses
stolen at the church where I learned to speak woman.
I want a belly of wasps and the hum of fireflies
to show me the way to your bed.
I want to be feral and soft with you.
When you look in the mirror, do you pass?
And where do you stash your armor?
Is there water steaming in your kitchen?
You call me girl, and I listen.
I wait for the names you give me
to press into your neck with my teeth.