Alyson Favilla

Rush Hour, Remember?

Tell me about the butch on the subway platform
with the slight brown dog tucked between her legs
remind me what she wore and how she stood

Desire fixed at her heel holding her phone
with two hands she never once looked away
(and you, tethered to the sight of her)

Tell me about the time you met desire
heading uptown how trim he was
how he gripped your wrist and made you gasp

Tell me had desire seen you would you need
reminding how the pennies
smelted for that dog’s eyes astonished collectors

Tell me about the oldest feeling in the book remember
it eats out of your palm so gently you forget
to tell me what to do with it

The crush of bodies there to meet you at the door
when you realized you are no exceptions
tell your own body it was a bad idea to mean—

Tell me about the men braiding a harmony through
their outstretched hands, and tell me again
the darkness roaring as the platform pulled away



How to be genderqueer

Be a confusion / grit in the eye
Be a double-negative / a mixed-metaphor
Be fractional / half-hearted / half-dressed /
                    After something / someone else
Be a fine line / a bruise / a body
Be a half-formed expression / uneven / out of joint
Be the alarm / the flicker / the shout in the street
Be the overt question / the ask / the answer
Be indeterminate / unsure / unsung
Be lacking / loose-fitting / a litany of shapeless
                    Side-glances / scurrilous / slipshod semaphores
Beyond belief / between / beside / belied
Be slight / unseen / unmoored /umade



Alyson Favilla holds an M.Phil in Irish Writing from Trinity College Dublin, and their poems have previously appeared in several Irish literary magazines, including The Tangerine, The Honest Ulsterman, and Abridged. At present, Alyson is based in New York City, and works for The Atlantic magazine.