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"two poems" by nat raum

the sky said trans rights

my dad and i used to saturday

on the shores of loch raven or prettyboy

when the snowfall season befell,

tracing my camera lens across patterns

of windblown ice and snow. tonight i touch

my bare toes to the back deck’s rot

and recall every other time the winter

sky said trans rights, where the bands

of white cirrostratus spread salmonpink

through the setting sun against sealike

sky and i stared until the westward suburbs

stole her away from me. in dreams i

am waveside in the summertime, mountains

away from swamp-level winters, but i see

the most sugarflossed sunsets thread

their way through january and february—

mountain goat and water bearer seasons

of soup and woodstove warmth, the kind

i couldn’t attribute to the hottest summer.

in which we cruise to neon heights

After Mario Party 7

first love’s roulette played like three treasure chests

shuffled around a game board; i eagerly opened

each one in search of a Star, face awash in pinkblue

lights and not yet confronted with the choice of a

Bob-omb inside, waiting to knock me back to where

it started. the Shy Guy with a clapperboard calls

the scene: the meter of your disgust which filled

by the day was almost full, and when it tipped over

i was told don’t worry you’re temporary and so

are your shortcomings. the next scene shows days

later, camera level with my knees on the yarn-flecked

living room carpet, proving i’ve got the guts to go all in.

no one let me win anything when i was growing up;

i came of age knowing i had to play a good game.

nat raum (b. 1996) is a disabled artist, writer, and genderless disaster from Baltimore, MD. They have a BFA (in photography) from Maryland Institute College of Art and are a current MFA candidate at the University of Baltimore. They are also the editor-in-chief of fifth wheel press and the author of you stupid slut and specter dust, among others. Find them online:

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