Two poems by Jasper Kennedy

Please State Your Gender for the Record

I am a rhinestone cowboy in a lavender
shirt with pearl snaps, swiping a match
on a boot sole to relight the citronella
candle blown out by laughter,
a sinking joy rumbling in the pit
of my stomach, lips parting and meeting,

no bark, all bite, as “Calling Baton Rouge”
plays over a crackling phone speaker
in my backyard for an audience of five
while the dogs howl and the pitcher empties
and the sky is a crushed velvet gown
glittering above and around us all.

I think this is what settling
down must feel like.


CONTENT WARNING: the following poem contains sexual content.


Medical student and semiprofessional sap
seeking gentle top to fuck me on graveyard dirt,
who’ll get my pocket knife sharp as a think piece
with revelations I could cut my teeth on,

with an embrace as sweet as doctored up grits,
with a mouth as magic and filthy as the gulf coast,
with a gaze like a sledgehammer on a cop car bumper,
with a love that reads like reverse chronological order,

a love that takes the edge off then puts it back on,
a love like the business end of a fire hose,
like a blueprint burning under a magnifying glass,
like half double crochet shells from holiday ribbon.

Must love cats, tolerate country music,
and hold my hand during MRIs.


About the author

Jasper Kennedy is an organizer and avid crocheter from north Alabama. A medical student by day, they write to reconcile home, profession, identity, and disability. Their work has been published in Screen Door Review, Rogue Agent, and The Healing Muse and is forthcoming in The New Southern Fugitives.


Photo by Inactive. on Unsplash

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