Death of a Gyne

her funeral will be soon, the air whispers to us. I can see it now,

the tender black cloth, her body laying as disfigured as it is


today, only a difference in pride. my mother’s voice will 

shake in blurry motion, her body a close replica, mine


still in defiance. I will feel her watching and

even then she’ll continue to warn – did you


know that my grandmother is the Mother Mary? 

motherhood fossilized only in its most attractive 


of forms. once, when I was young, she displayed

herself for me. she called me in and showed her ruined


and torn frame, bruised and broken and only for

the children he desired. this, she whispered, is what a 


good woman looks like. her scars were grotesque sorts 

of constellations, selling me a moral as myths tend to


stiches bursting and skin boiling, there is pain in

a body different than others desire. listen, she says. 


a good woman would listen.



A Late-Night Drive With My Father After Coming Out

The silence eats through skin, and muscle, and 

bone. Forget the radio; the antenna doesn’t work

and we can’t afford to fix it – a static of all colors

fills the space between us, a pounding rain of 

unpatched tension and uninvited guilt bubbling

up in anxious waiting, his eyes never turn from

the dark paved roads in front of us while veins 

protrude from his fingers, miniature blue roads

weaving through his skin as he grips the wheel. 

He speaks, throat quivering. “Was it me?” He asks. 

“Was I a poor example of what a man should be?”



The Lament of Bertha Mason

I never claimed to be an angel, yet I will fester above 

your head as you sleep: a demon in your dreams. Give me the attic – 

small as it is, I expect a bigger portion of your mind. Let my skin

rot above this house, my hair fall. Once, I scathed and boiled, once, I 

wronged you and felt no guilt. Let me live here and decay in denial. Let me scream

into the night and weep until mornings, only because I know you can hear. 

Let me spark fires in this house, let me remind you of my existence. I’m not sure which is worse – 

the letters I didn’t return or the ring I lost. Perhaps it’s the crestfallen modesty.

You will fall in love, and the thought of me listening will keep you from her. You once 

invited me into your home and I will stay – if we are not each other’s, who do we

belong to?  No matter – you cannot release me. And for that, I will wait until

we both fall captive to the flames.


Biographical Note: Noelle Hendrickson is a Creative Writing and Autism Studies undergraduate student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. Her poetry reflects a unique intersection of sexuality, religion, and disability. In her free time, you can find her devouring epic fantasy novels or rewatching Fleabag