i never could taste the bitterness of decaf coffee until the barista at the cafe on the first floor of the MSU library handed me a cup with the word “ma’am” attached to it, and now every sip of every coffee i take fills my teeth with grounds that taste nothing of the robust heartiness of non-binarism for me, but instead taste of the time i was sitting in my bathtub, not seven years old, newly indoctrinated into Forest Hills, when my mom found me chopping my hair and saying “i’m not a girl i want to play boy i’m not a girl,” to which she fabricated a lie about it being against the law to hold scissors until you are twenty years of age, and i wiped my soaked face with my chopped off hair, thinking the police would come get me because i wanted to play boy, and no matter how much caramel and whipped cream i pour into my coffee it will never stop tasting of that moment it will never stop tasting of that moment when my mother made it illegal for me to be a boy



Ronny Ford is a senior-year Creative Writing student with a minor in Religious Studies at Michigan State University. While they have been writing for several years, they have only just begun submitting poems to journals. Ronny has one poem published in Sagebrush Review XII. they are non-binary transgender and use they/them pronouns. they are a practitioner of witchcraft and a recovering addict.