I am the dominant one
in the evolutionary machine,
but as I grow
of my childhood
are lost to me
because it does not snow
in December anymore.
I can hardly remember anymore
what the world looked like
to my grandmother
so I wonder
we aren’t the ones
too self righteous
to understand our failings,
while consuming our own image
to feel how impermanent we are.
I’m not saying I hate people,
but no matter how much we fill the world
until the air’s run out
and the water’s run dry,
it will not change our size,
will not make us titans,
will not change our dying.
We will never
than our home.
Your God, My God
Do you pray to a God of Fire and Brimstone
Or one of Hope and Love?
When did you become acquainted with Him?
Do you ask Him for forgiveness
Or let’s be honest,
Isn’t it both?
Does your God love you?
And how do you know?
Do His hands fold like yours do when He wants something from you?
Someone told me His eye is on the sparrow;
He’s watching over me.
How can he do both at once?
And why does he bother looking at either of us?
And how do you know He’s a man?
Why are all the best biblical figures men?
I’ve knelt before a man before
But when he put his hand
On the back of my neck,
It didn’t feel so holy.
Or is your God a woman?
Is She beautiful?
Is She black
Or is She pale?
Does She have a color?
Does She have a body?
Would my Earthly body be enough
If I lived where She does?
Do you think She is ashamed of us?
Do you think She will come for us soon?
Or is that from a different part of the Book?
I wouldn’t know,
I’ve lost my place.
I’ve never known God well
Though sometimes when I cry myself to sleep,
I wonder if I weep for missing Them.
I wonder if They miss me too.
Is that something God can do?
Oh, the wind grows cold.
This time last year the warmth
of her breath in my memory
warded off any shuddering to the season.
But this year there is no hope
in the hearth and the meat
on my bones sallows
when challenged by the world.
I am not quite so special as I was before,
nor am I as naïve.
I make a terrific island and she
makes a terrific breeze.
And she is called home by a man
that I could eat in one bite
in all my enormity
and I remain, stoic and grand,
in all my supposedly splendorous solitude.
G, the artist formerly known as Gabriella
My nonbinary friend straps on a jacket
as big as they are,
laces up their war shoe of choice: Converse.
And thus, they enter each day a warrior.
They sent me a photo
of them holding a balloon a while back
and it struck me how good sunshine looks in black leather.
They remind me of how bad ass it is for a rose
to have thorns.
They swear more now than they did when we first met
and it’s fucking revolutionary.
And they look better too now that their hair is shaved.
All the best warriors shed their locks in service
of being more adept at battle.
I think it’s funny they want me to write them a battle poem,
that they want someone to scribe them a war cry,
as if one wasn’t already inside them this whole time,
as if they are not already fighting all the best fights
(including those some cruel invisible force put inside their head),
as if they aren’t already a warrior whose earned all their scars.
My nonbinary friend prepares for battle
and I swear their eyes are brighter now than they used to be.
And when their eyes set upon me
in the heat of everything wrong in the world,
I feel all the air molecules between us buzz in harmony
to the tune of a war cry:
Let’s fucking rage.
Biographical Note: Anastasia Simms (she/her) is a third-year honors student at Kent State University studying English, Psychology, and Creative Writing. She works at the KSU Writing Commons, the Wick Poetry Center, Brainchild Magazine, and New American Press. Her work is published by or forthcoming in the Red Cedar Review, an anthology by Lit Cleveland, and Outrageous Fortune Magazine. Anastasia hopes that her writing will positively impact others just as the written word has always done for her.