Lip Manegio

you tell me about your childhood memories of death cab for cutie, and i imagine every future and past we will ever get to live through

god bless the daylight

& every open window i’ve ever sat by
every april where the cold breaks
out of my bones again & i am shed
clean out into a warm sunrise
& god bless your golden hair
a shine of its own right / i mean

we looked like giants

trapezing across our three blocks
of sugary springtime / fingertips
arching out electric / towering over
every past version of ourselves
the summer basement bedroom
we sweated out ourselves

& we’d learn how our bodies worked

i mean / yours was the first touch
that didn’t scorch out of me
there was no grey subcompact / but
there was pink light & more heat
than either of us knew to take
every sigh a coronation,
every floorboard a new kingdom



i can’t stop spitting up scarves to bind myself down with

i stopped holding secrets
like pennies between my teeth
the first time i stuffed myself          into a hat
called it magic trick
& i think my body          is whispering
incantations to me at night
saying something about the ache of it all
the way it bends & cracks & pops
along fault lines, spine               a wand
of frail balsa, hips          tinder wood
for some future                         house fire
     a pain stays          palmed away
right up until the big reveal

there is something called          the prestige
          the magician shows you something entirely          ordinary
look here is my chest               look there is a knife
look          where did they go
where did i go                         where is the girl now
place her dresses in a false bottom box
saw it in half &                          pretend
that anything          has changed
that any of this feels          lighter now



androgyny and i go dancing

watch me grin through my fishnet of a mouth
as me and androgyny curl up in club corner booth

my collarbone is salt lined
                              & the crook of their neck holds so much lime

androgyny slips on a velvet choker / i pull on the tights with runs
          everything rubies for us

          we own the club now                    androgyny keeps diamonds in their teeth
i have so much satin in my marrow

if you cut us
          we’ll blood cherry preserves

androgyny lights a needle & pierces my ear          (you know, the gay one)
& everything scents candy apple

          androgyny brushes their fingertips along every wall
                    calls it theirs          claims everything they can touch

androgyny is a greedy bitch like that
i play with matches & androgyny     likes that

says:     i would burn this whole building          to the ground
                         before i’d give away my rings

& of course, androgyny owns the club,
                                        lets me sleep on the couch sometimes

when the streets are too swallow
                                        for me to walk-of-shame home

you don’t get to live like this
                                   without the comedown afterwards,

androgyny is great          for a night out
all glitzed pulse points and shining planes

but it won’t hold your hair back after it’s drank you
                              under the table for the fifth night running

androgyny knows just how          to glitter me dry
                              & sin me wet again

we drink only cristal and tequila
          we don’t care about the price as long as it feels good in     our mouth

i keep striking flint               against my wrist
& letting sparks fly into my martini glass

androgyny knows what happens to kids like these
but god,          do they love to watch the show

androgyny Gatsbies my body                              i mean
the club                    still calls themself owner

          but stumbles over all the jewels we left behind
in the open jawed streets to pay our daisy bloomed debts with

androgyny’s hands are bare          all that’s left
is the moss green silver               marks on their knuckled fingers

nothing androgyny builds ever lasts past the night
but at least for now,
                    watch me grin through all my teeth



Lip Manegio is a trans, queer nonbinary poet based in Boston where they are working towards a BFA in creative writing at Emerson College. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Puerto del Sol, the minnesota review, Tin House, and elsewhere. They are the author of We’ve All Seen Helena (Game Over Books, 2019).