SPRING TELLS ME, by Wren Hanks

Wren Hanks is the author of Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press) and Ghost Skin (Porkbelly Press). His recent work appears in Best New Poets 2016, Gigantic Sequins, Drunken Boat, decomP, Jellyfish Magazine, and elsewhere. His third chapbook, gar child, is forthcoming in 2017 from Tree Light Books. He lives in Brooklyn and tweets @suitofscales.

Dear Daddy Pence, A List of My Luminous Indiscretions

It’s her mouth on my cock in a unisex bar stall / my hand squeezing his cock under the table / it’s my girlfriend on the marble countertop / while I’m breaking a wooden spoon / against her ass / Daddy, it’s me in a car / at 16/ convincing a good Catholic boy / to put his hands on my breasts /it’s that you think / I’m a dyke / when you see my shaved head / like definitions / will protect anyone /from me / Daddy, I’m coming / for your daughters / I’m coming for your sons / coming for the dog whistle genders / in between / perhaps I am / the dog whistle / in between / Daddy Pence / don’t wait up

Daddy Pence, when you kiss your wife is it like

stars and stripes / your tongue an eagle’s wing / no wait / a talon/ do you make her mute, daddy / the way you wanna make me / a silent statistic / de-transitioned with those / chewable / bubblegums hips / Daddy, were you ever / the beauty / on someone’s bed / have you ever been / a fucking object

Daddy Pence, meet me at Olive Garden

We’ll compare notes on nuptial bliss / on nights staring at Seven of Nine’s tits / while our wives drink reasonable / thimbles of wine /on ironing shirts /(tomatoes off the vine, Daddy, / and garlic bread too) / on spitting our Crest into those sinks / rimmed / with cat hair / I’ll take your hand / and ask you how long it’s been / really / since one look / at a man’s / brought your pulse up / I know the answer already, Daddy / It’s the camera-ready red / this soldier’s aiming for

In which I flirt with the cis girls at the reading like nothing matters

like “love or die” is a tongue-in-cheek pin on my jacket and not the truth of it
hey, I’ve cultivated the veneer you’re looking for
break me off like peanut brittle
cuz there’s enough to go around
I like being something new (every girl, every time)
chick-fuzz cheeks little voice-box that could
rasp in your ear

While I’m thinking about the trans girl who’s actually killing me

her breath my breath
hating how she makes me feel like
nothing to be ashamed of
because what to do with that
what to do with hands on
(My god if they knew what it was to)
(really look at me)
(My god how scared I’d be)
(all the time)

Spring Tells Me

One day I will not hate myself for being a man.
It’s enough that I want to kiss your lips down to mica.
It’s enough that if I found a fly on your lips I’d eat it
because it touched your lips, it’s obvious
I am not a girl. It’s obvious now. Every turn of my head
spring tells me, boy,
you are not a prince. You are a briar.
Shh. Every message
from you makes the sky go dark in my head over
the swan bed from the movie Toys,
but you’re not animatronic, you’re blood-rich—
lying there, your untied shoes, your sugar
in my system.