second puberty by Eli Shaw

i smelled jasmine today –
cut my lungs wide open. 
and yesterday, i swear, it was fresh pears 
on the tree outside my window
months too soon. 
i thought of the way they filled the basket
on my bicycle as it leaned
against the stairs. deflated tires and the
ache of uneaten fruit. i don’t know 
where i’ll be when they come again – 
how my voice will sound in 3 months time – 
            whether i’ll be bruised, that moment,
                        on the ridge of my knee or back of my shoulder
or if my lips will be sore from kissing instead of wanting. 

my mother has started telling me things
i never asked. i don’t know what to say back. 
she asks me if i’m going to the gay bar tonight, if i’m dating the girl
who ate biscuits & jam with me in an old school bus,
apologizes for the man she married when she was 30 &
            already swelling with the future tense of my body. 

so what does it mean, then, to go to therapy 
at 1pm on a tuesday and hear i commend you
for your vulnerability. and then almost cry
at the vegan coffee shop
on an afternoon stretching itself long
like a cat in the sun.
and then text your friends that you
are not ok and going to be ok all at once. 
and spring is arriving again           
           and my meds might have stopped working
                       and nothing hurts quite so bad as seeing
                       the seasons rage on, except for maybe realizing
                                  all the days you let life pass by easily. 

Eli Shaw is a queer, trans writer and current student based in Gainesville, Florida in an apartment whose floors aren’t quite level. He spends his time watching pens roll off his desk, working at a rock climbing wall in the woods, and thinking about the dispersal of cactus bugs. Their work is forthcoming in Rust+Moth Literary Magazine.