what even r u? | Judith Wright Poetry Prize, second place

non-normative flags 
whip pink f*g umbrellas 
out of our trans-
-gressive / expressive hands

we’re marching / crawling / squirming 
on our tattoo-tanned bellies 
out from under the 
wind-whipped rainbow

a man on the footpath leers at / up my 
swelling skirt … but in a romantic way / normative 
way / innocent way … (aside : i lost 
my innocence to this bloke branded 
the Gendered Healthcare System 
& his love of inflexible 
formal binaries)

in truth, i’m flexible about discrimination : see also :
	    new msg :	    ur a genderfree male, yeah? 
	    new msg :	    i get it – ur *just* a non-gendered female?! 
	    	    	    ur a general lack of person / per-
	    	    	    -centage / reference point / pride?
	    	    	    a flimsy foundation of cluttered pronouns 
	    	    	    & threadbare symbols? 
	    new msg :	    wait, r u *just* an emoji?

let me try again : 
	    r	u	1 	of 	those 		tr*nnys?

hey, i heard (on the news / on facebook / on this scrawl of foot-
-path propaganda) … that ur identity lacks 
identity / definition / something 
i can cling to because :
	    i’m shook / a sook / a sock 
	    monster wagging my tail / working myself into a state
	    	    called ‘unable to show you
	    	    the slightest respect’

in truth, i’m *just* fucking tired 
of the marching, the crawling (see also : indulging) : see also :
	    exhausted / pooped / snoozed out 
	    of the cis-tem & sick-to-choking
	    on ur systemic lasagna-layered revulsion 

let me try again :




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Rae White

Rae White is a non-binary transgender poet, writer and zinester. Their poetry collection Milk Teeth (University of Queensland Press) won the 2017 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry. Rae’s second poetry collection Exactly As I Am will be published by UQP in July 2022. Rae is the editor of #EnbyLife, a journal for non-binary and gender diverse creatives.

More by Rae White ›

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