- Lip Manegio
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).