Apollo Chastain

transsexuality, baby
Surrendering is unimaginably more dangerous than struggling for survival.
                                          – Leslie Feinberg

A new life is a mirror, it is a pair of glasses,
it is a comma, inserted between
the fingernails of a cantankerous tyrant,
levered until the spew of pus and sputum

becomes clean blood that flows out, washes our hands of dust
and covers the place of our independence
until we are all a delta of our

blood. We will have a place to sow, we will
string our names into garlands,
throw them at the feet of stillborn statues and
now we can look at each other and see:
we are angry, but we are angry in the sun,

in the whistling way of bodies that fall as strange music is
played through them, men’s hands sowing holes in our flesh.

In this my body belongs to no nation
save the one we make each dark, the one we fight for in the dawn.

In this we are glass, but glass the way that stars
are shattered for miles in the many shapes of myth.



good luck have fun

It's always Spring, even when it shouldn't be:

Lapis spring, who's been more places than wars have names,
Emerald spring, ripe with muscle and ribald limbs,
Drafthorse spring, hocking its body up out of the grave,
spring that says "I
don't want to go home."

People who play video games, in my experience, are predisposed to let you sleep on their couch for longer than people who don't.

I have not been home in years, but still
nights like this, lapped in ice's first recession,
I am still

On the screen there is blood & in the room there is light.
V is breathing to the tune of their thumbs on the buttons,
mottled beryl monsters succumbing level after level
to the tiny gravity of the controller,
but the spring is wriggling through the screen, there is

no one at the door
and I don't know how long I can stay.

It's Spring, it's spring where it shouldn't be:
bursting out of itself in the leaving, the
mothers and the fathers breeding,
the nest is awash in birth-blood.
Who wants to go home when it's spring and
when it's always spring, who wants to go home?

One must hack through the dungeons, this is
all, ream after ream of putrid
baddies—You have to be good at making it,
one slash to the next.



Apollo Chastain (ze/hir) is a 20-year-old who writes poetry for people who didn’t think they’d make it this far and for kids who don’t think they’re gonna make it at all. The recipient of the 2021 Academy of American Poets Prize and three-time winner of the National YoungArts competition, Apollo’s work appears in journals including Poets.org, Vagabond City, and the Trans Masc Diaries, and under a dead name in journals including The Rumpus, Lunch Ticket, and Yes Poetry. Pay hir a visit at apollopoet.wordpress.com, or on Instagram @apollo.chastain