September 26, 2020


i synth my finger across my phone screen

& watch the crane fly backwards, an echo

of yarrow, white as

a statue. next was white queer unfucking

themself : then rapture : then neon w/ holes.

in a clinic i will not tell the nurse

my name. my name,

in a dead language, means broad field.

then paradise. then fell.

a decade from now, we would have had words

to describe what looking at me

feels like. a time machine is a machine

for forgiveness. when the world is done

w/ us, i wld see u glint in her noise.


but i wanted to build

a natural thing :

meadow, chandelier, a twentieth century

of leather frontiered in lace. imagine

every countryside unwomanly

& sirens. the grass sobs : is sobbed across.

handcuff, white-gold, cross


linger here.

& who of us would be chorus elsewhere?

every mirror an aperture of we.

let me show u.

when i was a boy, i only spoke one language.

when i was a day, i licked its glass from the floor.

from Issue 31.2, Runner-up for the 2019 Wabash Prize for Poetry

BRADLEY TRUMPFHELLER is the author of a chapbook, Reconstructions (Sibling Rivalry Press). Their work has appeared in Poetry, The Nation, jubilat, and elsewhere. A MacDowell Fellow, they are the co-editor of Divedapper and live in Massachusetts.

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