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Woody Woodger is a trans femme, pan, anarcho-commie currently living in Washington, DC. Her poetry has appeared in DIAGRAM, Northern New England Review, Drunk Monkeys, RFD, Exposition Review, and peculiar, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. Her first chapbook, postcards from glasshouse drive (Finishing Line Press) was nominated for the 2018 Massachusetts Book Awards. Find her on Insta & Twitter @lovlyno1


He’s a past

warbled like a morning through a bedside

tumblr. He is the direct descendant of William Bradford,

the first governor of Massachusetts.

Thanksgiving is his fault.

He can never remember to trim his nails. He lets them grow

like penance. He is white, perpetually guilty, too fat and spiteful

to live. He does this for the remembrance

of us. Above the altar, the cracker snaps. His mother

is already done with him,

and it's not even 5th grade.

He’s disgusted with the girl she will someday become.

Shut up. Look. He sits in a smelly pew. His hard collar. His nails. He is but the germ

of a person. His head hung, learning how prayer works,

unaware of what it does. He prays for everyone

he knows except himself—he believes

he has not earned

the right. Prayer is for the dead, he thinks, and he cannot yet even be trusted

with the wine.


Remember how the cop stayed in the room

with me while i cried. Or didn’t,

exactly. More whined then balled.

More dad than cop. He sat arms crossed, hat

off. Tired. Of me. How mundane

this evening. i had the urge

to make him a guilty martini.

My fishnets are camouflage

back in Mass. There, no one has a beard with

the lights off. i tell everyone that’s how they caught

me. Like the cop’s dad

taught him. Reach a hand into the dark morning

water with patience. Remember

how the cop adjusted himself like a gavel.

Woody, remember don’t tell them anything

more than they need to know.

Dad remembers when he had to bail out my uncle

and i don’t. Lie bi omission, Andy, is still a lie

Dad said to me.

i told the cop secrets

like it was an episode of Mad Men

and i’m just another buttery Betty

face blind to a man

in uniform. i folded

a shirt in my mind, ruthlessly. i am blubber. A mess. i am sorry.

i blew a .15

.16 in Maine, remember, is jail time. (In my poems, a period’s a question mark

waiting to happen)

Remember the front desk asked

sorry, Mrs. Is it?

The bi kid

and i blub-

burrrr it out in the drunk tank.

Remember he smile-cries. (Remember to smile, Woody.)

His face the face i make yanking

a stubborn sapling from between my brows.

The goopy root’s

a beak yelping.

Woody was born in a cold backseat, bound absolutely GAGGED!

Remember, Woody, you imaged

fucking him in his cell.

Remember what you thought at the time

because you’re not just guilty of what you say.

Our days in here

orange and numbered and fuzzy

and flat chested,

us both. The bi kid and i. We’d be like our cell phones are right now—peeking

through sandwich bags, illuminated.

Remember the 90s? 'member when South

Park. Remember gum

recession. Remember. i deserve punishment. Bad

girl. Bad girl. It runs down my leg

as i type this. Look, everything you care about, Woody: wa(i)st(e).

excess. Budget—

remember revenge is a whole

other species.


—but with the wrong beak. A finch wishing

she had a new nose. Dar win. Favor

me. The lights announce themselves

in my rearview on the day i'm arrested. Walk over to me like Hollywood,

flashing its teeth and Aviators

and saying why don't you roll down

this window. Step on

out for me doll.

A college-aged crowd

walks past my arrest

and oooooos

like i just stumbled out of a cookie jar.

Remember money, Woody? Remember how it leapt

from your sleeves in the drunk

tank, filled in the linoleum floor

like my breath fell down the tube—a silent, consistent admission.

My makeup then

was just like the mug shot says.

There's no need to smile.

Remember why you’re here, Woody, i think once the bi boy stops distracting me.

In the drunk tank, i think

about the Woodger Boys watching from the pier on Cape Cod.

Brad and I the only ones who ever go in the water. Phytoplankton synch around

my waist like an aura.

The Woodgers. All of us

hold frosty Dogfish Heads like hilts

to nowhere. From the pier, Mom shouts, Now remember (shouts Andy,

watch your brother!)

It’s May it’s still freezing.

Remember. If you get in trouble, sorry boys.

You’re on your own.


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