Not Berdache.  Not Gynandromorph.  Not Even Two Spirit.



Tonight I will wrap

myself in newspaper

                               columns in cellophane

packets in cigarette

butts and moonlight                    I will rise with my wolf face


Look -- dawn now shifts his yawn-glow from my brow to yours.


Today I will ride
        
backward into that sky

only then I who am                                 not wife not husband not yours

and you who are                                        not wife not husband not mine

can witness a wingspread


Today I will pause

and trace your                                          scars in a lashed pattern

face as it appeared when

in May you scooped

buckled legs jaws                                      frozen hair from a Route 66 ditch


Today you will gather

them, yes, gather them

today and we will see                            not men not women not even

how they react at the green                     megaphonic drums and their loudspeaker

font of the Pontiac


Come back under, intertwine your thigh and knee with mine.


At night do you think 

of me alone by the oil                                      lamp a spiral notebook paycheck

laced with water sifting the rain-

bows for an answer?

A sand blot.


At night I do not think

of you I have your                           bills and the deed to a tin chariot

arms your legs

as thought for thought.

Do not worry.


At night think

only of our trailer's                                            cinder blocks pocked with moss

narrow bed of our

village, this shanty

park reservation.


Look -- the Venetian blinds slit our bodies into yellow and blue.


When you go to hunt

hare on the mill's

empty lots do you

think of my heart

beat slow                                       like snow covering macadam-cracked grasses
 

When you cross

the rust mound's girders

into town, near

the discharge valves you will

see my eye flash ask                                   this this is from where I once came


When you kneel

beneath the pine

telephone poles pause

beside the oak porch

swings, listen for my voice                                                in wire hum and metal rub


Come curl your toes over my toes, and I will curl over yours.


At dawn I will think                                   the turpentine will weep for you like willow bark

of an herb and root

to place on your

wound, the paint I will wash

from your sweat


At noon I will ride                                                      under a foliage of wire awning umbrella

into the county back

ward, I will break free

dirt I will skin and hang

siding hides from lamp to post


Tonight I will listen                                      and think of the skin you once wrapped me in 

for you when I face

the bars where I'll empty

my cup over my hair

as I bathe in the gutter


Look -- stillness if not enough to keep your beating wings from mine.


Tonight I will wrap

myself in newspaper

columns in cellophane

packets in cigarette

butts and moonlight                             I will rise with my beak and tear





Matthew Hittinger is the author of the chapbooks Pear Slip (Spire Press, 2007) winner of the Spire 2006 Chapbook Award, Narcissus Resists (GOSS183/MiPOesias, 2009), and Platos de Sal (Seven Kitchens Press, 2009).  His work has appeared in many journals and the anthologies Best New Poets 2005 and Ganymede Poets, One.  Matthew lives and works in New York City, and you can read more of his work at www.matthewhittinger.com.