Transition By Jay Douglas


This wine is so dark,
you say
it’s the color of blood
we’re in your bed sipping a cheap red blend
from mason jars, eating
vanilla bean gelato, me with a warm rice
sock against my crooked spine
my only reference for blood so dark:
dissected deer, suicide attempts, and menstruation
of course

people forget
that I menstruate – that transmen
menstruate –
but I too have soiled bedsheets, stained
my favorite jeans the color of rust
and the doctor says with testosterone
the “issue” will vanish
monthly injections
will “solve” this discomfort
along with my fertility
but I have always wanted
to carry

a child
in my accidental womb
know what it’s like to grow a person
in a person, a human
in a human, my body
a Russian Doll
feeling a foreign kick from the inside:
alien, strange
as the Weird Science genre I read in third grade

the paperback Choose Your Own Adventure
novels with their labyrinthian, dog-eared pages
checked out from the library for the first time
since 1984

in them I could be
a boy fighting hordes of undead or a girl
astronaut exploring distant moons
I had to figure out
how to survive the book

pick the correct page combination
find the happy ending

To exit the spacecraft
turn to page 63…

But what if there is no exit?
Maybe I’ve tipped my mason jar
and spilled red wine
on page 63
maybe page 63 is bleeding
I’m stuck in the spacecraft and the engine
is on fire
or maybe
I’m stuck in me
and all I can do as a person trapped
inside another person is to continue, frantically,
with silent screams
to kick.

By Jay Douglas


Jay Douglas is an undergraduate senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania pursuing degrees in Religious Studies and English. When not frantically scribbling poetry, Jay can be found honing Jay’s mad yo-yo and kendama skills, reading queer theory, or listening to music far too loud (or, occasionally, attempting to do all three at once). Jay’s work is previously published in Words Dance.

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