from ET IN ARCADIA EGO & AM GIRLISH

BRADLEY TRUMPFHELLER

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
                     -dresser:
                                     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.