Kai River Blevins



it’s all about the T.


the way it barrels

through his tenderness.


the way it spills

into the burgeoning emptiness of me.


the way it punctuates

my existence.


the way i survive it

every fucking time.

“Straight Bashing”

i think he means

            i make him uncomfortable

                        make him question everything,


i make his masculinity feel

            like a façade. i think he means

                        i live too freely, my determination to survive


too public, too unapologetic,

            too much like happiness. or perhaps

                        not enough like tragedy. i think he means


he doesn’t understand

            how i can grow into something other

                        than Man, how i can rid myself of the expectations of


masculinity while his bleeding hands

            clutch its shackles like a stillborn child.

                        i think he means straight people are meant to


do the bashing, i am out

            of line, speaking when i know

                        i never have permission. i think he means


i remind him of the fear of

            discovering yourself, of learning

                        you are the monster, the shameful


desire stuck in everyone’s throats.



Kai (xe/they) is a non-binary/queer poet, researcher, and aspiring anthropologist living in the DC Metro area. Xe loves spending time with their partner, reading, flowers, all things sci-fi and fantasy, playing piano, cooking, and doing advocacy work. They have work published and forthcoming at Homology Lit, Nashville Review, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Voicemail Poems, pnk prl, Duende, and COG Zine.

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