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1 poem
by imogen xtian smith

imogen xtian smith is a genderqueer poet & performer. They live, work, study, & cruise plant shops in NYC.

deep ecology



Gardens are for growing stemmy things

bending toward sun. We living sink heirloom

in tidy rows, set away days to brush clean

the stone, lay leaves that unfurl slow.

Nothing is ever finished—we are naked,

relentless, a now hard, now molten 

presence. Some call this horror, others

beauty. Elemental i say, pieced together

of sky’s generous weeping. It’s fair

to wonder how earth holds our wreckage,

why we aren’t swallowed in the belly— 

though some questions answer them-

selves. You cannot swap a set of bones, nor

come from any other ruin than. We

gather days—dust, brick, bacteria, mortar,

form. Consequence gives a body

shape, says you cannot build home in lie.





i am not a woman. My gender is feminine. 

Even the moon travels farther for what

it wants. Mostly i am water—swollen,

mourning, tie a blue ribbon round my finger

& forget me. Do you think me monstrous,

wanting my body my way? My poem

is a dream saying teach me where 

you’re brittle & maybe we can rest there,

where breath tethers limbs to toes

wrapped in blue knit, where nothing alone

is useful. Deep in the quiet i touch myself

undone, stars still stars over turns 

& brambles, a dark wood weaving beyond

city light. You love the mess, don’t you,

the way consequence gives & gives—

stony dismay, a sweetness of rest. Here’s 

a poem for my body, stemmy thing—it 

begins & ends in dirt.

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