The Tin Boy as Big Bad
Poetry by Wren Hanks
I swallow the ghosts and they swallow me back, an endless game of who's the butch, who's the big bad. Farthest thing from Ozma grown up and peeling back my vegetable skin, my seeds in her teeth. I carve myself out when no femme will.
Spin the champagne and kiss whoever’s under that tinsel mask. It’s Mardi Gras, it means nothing, transfer your glitter to my check. Straight girls carve me out when no femme will.
An Ozma leans on the bar, nipples hard under her leather harness. I'm too soft to rust, so she digs beneath my metal, no need for oil. Femmes carve me out when no love will.
A tin boy in lipstick with chair marks down my legs. I jerk off under chenille while the wind rattles my screen door. I carve myself out when no femme will.
My girlfriend’s an Ozma with her dark, dark hair, green-glitter nails digging into my scalp. If I’m Dorothy when she visits / if I’m blue-eyed and girl. Should I carve myself out even when love will?
If we fuck with my binder off, I’m still not blue-eyed and girl. I’m too soft to rust, so carve, take my silver skin between your teeth. I’ll leave my watch-heart on your dresser ticking in time to our moans. I’ll be your big bad, so carve, my ghosts’ll swallow.
Wren Hanks is the author of The Rise of Genderqueer, a 2018 selection for Brain Mill Press's Mineral Point Poetry Series and a finalist for Gold Line Press's chapbook competition. A 2016 Lambda Emerging Writers Fellow, his recent work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets, Foglifter, Waxwing, DIALOGIST, and elsewhere. He is also the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press) and co-editor of the anthology Curious Specimens (Sundress Publications). He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and tweets @suitofscales.