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two poems /robin gow

Updated: Apr 2, 2023

I Make A Doll Of My Girl-Self And Ask If You Want To Play

Knock on the front door of your house. You are also a doll and we do doll things like collect spare thumbs and cut our chests open to remove the blue birds. You tell me you still love me and I can’t tell if you’re talking to the doll or to the me who is not a doll and is instead a package of fruit flies. I open a window and a garbage truck is my boyfriend. Picking out a cloth to sew closed the old stigmata. I was beautiful. I know I was beautiful or is that just what emerges in the replica? I have a séance for dead poets and a demon emerges. He has too many hands, each of which are holding a mouse. “Release them,” I suggest and the demon says, “This is all I am.” We build an altar. Slice my palm and no blood comes out; Water gushes.


Playdate With Stacy

               After Greer Lankton

Mars fell like a hand fruit and all the apples bleed. We had planned to stare into a dark curtain, waiting for it to open. Instead, we play confessional when Stacy comes over. She’s the priest. I kneel and say, “I want to be kissed until I can’t remember I have a body.” She wears a makeup look completed only with a pocket knife. She lied to all of us when she said she was clergy. Instead, she is just a fortune teller which is I guess a kind of high priest. I take it back. I don’t want my sins forgiven. I want to keep them like gold earrings. “Can you help me laugh?” she asks and we spend hours swallowing compasses and watches and beetles. None of them work. Her neck is a vacuum cleaner. We spend days not eating until it becomes a competition to see who will die first. Of course, neither of us do. I consider opening the curtains but no. Not yet.


Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author from rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of several poetry books, an essay collection, and a YA novel in verse, A Million Quiet Revolutions (FSG Books for Young Readers, 2022). Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, Southampton Review, and Yemassee.

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