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  • Lip Manegio

Two Poems

self portrait as isaac, or i reread genesis and once again consider the idea of top surgery

abraham leads me to the mountain

& i am the one holding the blade

the rock is so thirsty, asks for every sacrifice

halo and whetstone are listed as synonyms in the dictionary

so what is God but the sharpening of a dagger

what could be more holy than a hand

cocking back, ready for the sinew snap

for the slicing of unwanted flesh

i have been knife blocking my body

my entire life, feels predestined Gospel now

but still, the blood never flows

& i leave the mountain

chest in tact and bound together

is it still sacrifice to not give myself every scar

that has ever been wanted of me

maybe i have always been a ram

tangled in bramble

begging to become burnt offering,

dreaming of everything a seared bone,

a stolen, cracking rib, could bring me & of course

on the mountain of the LORD it will be provided


after peter laberge

in the beginning, neither of us had been named.

we had only our bodies, so fresh and blood

filled, no labels or pronouns lashed

around our fatty ankles. like all biblical stories,

it began with our ribs, mouthed into a shape

adam called girl or boy or warped thing.

we were eden-flecked and blameless,

apples caught in our small throats.

years later, i choked around the dogma fed

to the both of us, a tale of gomorrah

and pillars and brine filled seas,

every mistranslation a grave. i mean,

there are so many ways to know someone

and we were just children, starry

mouthed and flying over our hometown,

fists grasped in each others. seven

years old and eyes bright offerings, lightning

caught in a chrismatory. we only spoke

in hushed tones when the priests

drew too close, when giants walked

across our gardens, when the fire

and brimstone were raining around us.

there were always the burning things,

but we paid them no mind. after all,

this is how we saw ourselves best. forget

joan & the men’s clothes & the candles

we carefully lit on the altar; just remember

how the flames licked the air around us, every

thing glowing cherries and gold. the taste

of glycerol sat under our tongues, a secret

held from everyone else. truth or dare

we said, tieing rosaries around our fingers.

ave maria we giggled, drawing crosses

of myrrh across each other’s palms.

envy thy neighbor we whispered to the eyes

that followed our skipping feet

wherever we went.

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 Flypaper Magazine, Crab Fat Magazine, The Minnesota Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. They are the author of We’ve All Seen Helena (Game Over Books, 2019).

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