Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Tuesday poem #423 : Helen Robertson : Amphibian


I lack the vestigial hips                                     to claim

            I belong

                                         only                                                 to the sea.


I spend too much time parched                       astride the shoreline

looking to land                                                 believing

                         it could love me back.


And every time I venture                                 I find my skin ruptured

by the heat of this assumption,


that I am built for that environment.


But I’m terrified of drowning;

                                                                        find myself


by the apparent peace                                      of water —


that its depth

                       can be as dangerous.


                   Yet —                                           the whales knew this too


   at least for now                                             I’ll turn my back to the earth.




Possible witch, definite bitch, and full time disaster Helen Robertson is a genderqueer trans woman moving through the lifelong process of accepting how lucky they've been; using poetry to excise their ire and sorrow — hopefully turning it into something worthwhile.

Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Quarterly, The Fiddlehead, The Puritan, The /tƐmz/ Review, and others.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan


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