Poetry by TC Tolbert

Image by Kristin Stransky / kristinstransky.com



I didn’t drink today
and most days
are just days
in which drinking does
not occur–no matter
who I love–every
time I see a bird
on the ground I feel
plastic feathers
folding inside my mouth–I
know I shouldn’t long for what
threatens my existence–I miss
her–quotation marks still
in the air but still–sitting inside
a boy’s haircut–North
Carolina pouring Bailey’s into
10am on a burnt auburn
couch–we no longer live in
the flight path–just across
Tucson there are planes in
training–they want as they wake
to be planes in Syria–having
already been planes in Afghanistan
and planes in Iraq–there are
prayers we pray to go
missing–most of me
wants to be the kind of ash
that pushes itself
up from the earth–every time
I pray I pray to make
peace with my impotence–most
of me wants you to be
my best love–wants to be held



Dear Melissa:

					     It is nothing to be proud of although, definitively,
						     I am proud. Five push pins and nothing sacred
				     between them. An incomplete suicide. A body untethered and small.



TC Tolbert often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet. Also, s/he’s a human in love with humans doing human things. S/he is Tucson’s Poet Laureate and author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press, 2014), four chapbooks, and co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat, 2013). tctolbert.com