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2 poems

by Chase Berggrun

Chase Berggrun is a trans poet. She is the author of R E D (Birds, LLC, 2018). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Magazine, APR, Diagram, Sixth Finch, the PEN Poetry Series, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from New York University. She lives in New York City and edits poetry for Big Lucks.



Note this


I have come to understand    a particular freedom   


without restraining mood   


aglow    as if loosened 


God    you are going to be so good to me


I know a poison you do not


beginning and ending with my hand


the blackest prelude


Note the quaint seriousness of my voice    low and strained


The flesh    the rough flinch


My fast-bending hand


which subdued the whiteness of his hair


I shrink into all wives    and their hands


their hands    that loved me best    I have not forgotten


that set me free    from the thrall    my husband held over me


What I have arranged to do will be no murder


Even if it were


I know now what men feel


that special excitement when in active danger


This necessary task    euthanasia    a comfort


I am in a fever of hands


I found him whetting


the edge of his throat    driven by cold


His hands instinctively sought


my smooth arrangement


He is sure I will come at his call


but I have not lost the grace a woman has


a power he may not take away


I    with perfect nervous poise


let loose wings    a thought-strong swan


When the time comes    I alone slaughter


I alone    ultimately triumph


The tight country he had tried to invade


he kissed it    sick and keen


There is more to tell and I shall tell you   


Forgive me if I seem remorseless


selfishness frees my soul somewhat


Not even God is with me now



This morning    the increasing swirl in his eyes   


lying half asleep as he


distributed his guarantee    the routine hurt


this mixture of arousal and business


After a fog    I felt a wind carry through me


right or wrong didn’t matter


I was rid of that type of punctuation


released from my promise to be grateful


to the man who invented this suffering


I have my conclusion






   (a) He must be confined.

   (b) A process of exclusions.

   1. Endless difficulties in leaving.

   (x) Investigate, hint, surmise: what might destroy him?

   (y) Maybe.

   (z) His highest fear, his victim.

   2. It would have to be fatal.

   3. The safest way: engulf him in water.

   Firstly. A general plan of action.

   Secondly. Ascertain his means of escape, and his suspicions.

   His canniness has been proved before.




My husband’s murder    required isolation

    in secret    I blotted out his traces

I have examined    ascended

    I read    the creaking sound

of his shaking hands    now

    at his most helpless    he is powerless




I took other precautions    I hunt well armed


It may be necessary to undo time    and re-incarnate


To destroy    I hesitate to write the word    destroy him


My legs are quick and lethal


I can fight    I can die   


as well as men can


Fear shall find him near that fateful place


sad and tainted with illness    almost alive   


in embryo    in a collapse of misery


I would take him into that place


There is work to be done before


I can escape those gloating lips


Forgive me    it is a dire need         


I am giving    possibly    my life




I cannot sleep

how can I

it would be easier to die than to live

and quit before I start

dismiss the whole adventure



as the cold seems to rise up and strike

it all comes home

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