by kitchen mckeown
kitchen mckeown (they/them) is a sober transmasculine writer living in Vancouver. They have a BFA in Theatre Performance from Concordia University and graduated from the University of British Columbia's Creative Writing Program. Their poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bad Nudes, The Void, The Puritan, Poetry is Dead, Mineral Lit Mag, Room, and Peach Mag. They can be found on Instagram at tendr.bttns.
This poem was shortlisted for the 2020 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge ALOK.
I plant strawberries because I do not know
what else there is to do with my body. I am
tired of my body but it beckons like the retired
racehorse you ignore, which is to say, my dream body
is Seabiscuit, blue mountains, breakdancing,
a little white fang. I used to dream of a man
with giant hands and deep voice who
would carry me to bed when I couldn’t
make it. It is too late to turn back now.
She whispers “boyfriend” to me and
my heart is a ringing bell. My dream body
is a lemniscate made of ribbons, not unlike
the miracle that is testosterone, which may
not work for me because I fear second puberty,
which is to say I fear being unlovable
almost as much as I fear daily needles.
Nonetheless, my dream body is a
god only knows. I watch the befores
and afters travel by, a prideful marching band.
I observe because I never learned how.
I observe from my dream body: ungendered
lovescape, plentiful, green-eyed, imminent.