He Was Born A Boy & That Should’ve Saved Him

My hair is getting long meaning soon I’ll have the right answer. What we have over one another will matter never                         but now it may.
It may. It’s May for us both.

Rovno amber, your excuse for failed marriage, resurfaces
when water breaks to corrode the pipedream. The early pearl gets interred

& our Peter is no saint.


You are not still. You are quiet. I make your bed & we both lie in it.

My husband advises in hay fever stalemate Say gymnasium & spew hollyhock. The bar’s too low or not low enough still.       & The grocer’s all-seeing                 he warns the grosser alternative.


Eight memories later, we draft only pretty boys. We are better equipped to handle extinction.

The role formerly known as mother is misappropriated between the third crisis and the fifth harbinger of milk death.

Now I am absolute. Now I am obsolete.
Now I am absolute. Now I am obsolete.                                                            This pearl came too late.





Rachel Stempel is a genderqueer Ukrainian-Jewish poet and PhD candidate in English at Binghamton University. They are the author of the chapbooks Interiors (Foundlings Press, 2021) and Before the Desire to Eat (Finishing Line Press, 2022), and their work has appeared in or is forthcoming in various journals, including Porter House Review, New Delta Review, Penn Review, and the minnesota review. They currently live in New York with their rabbit, Diego.

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