White crop2
Poetry Prize

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 :




Read the rest of Overland 230

If you enjoyed this poem, buy the issue

Or subscribe and receive
four outstanding issues for a year

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Rae White is a non-binary poet and writer living in Brisbane. Their poetry has been published in Meanjin, Cordite Poetry Review and others. Rae’s manuscript Milk Teeth won the 2017 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and will be published by University of Queensland Press in 2018.

More by