Literature Poetry R/B Mertz


I beg for it short like a boy,
Boy-short, please. I come out with

a pageboy: gymnast, figure skater.
Still a girl. I swallow red. I hate myself.

I didn’t know how to quit cutting my
teeth/brain on my culture, sweet carts

& cameras, cutting through me like
a parking lot, making everybody look

into infinity & carve it all down
& choose.

R/B Mertz (they) is the author of Burning Butch (Unnamed Press), “How Whiteness Kills God & Sprinkles Crack on the Body” (Mistress Syndrome), “Where the Heart Is” (Another Chicago Magazine), poems in Guernica, Arc, and elsewhere, & “Trans, Trying to Get Pregnant, & More Pro-Choice Than Ever” (Autostraddle). More at