Aidan Forster

Sext to Narcissus Sent Backwards

Love does not want this body.

The pink buds close, & purr in the wind.

I learned what it means to be a boy: yellow scrim on water.

& the single flame of moss you call your eyes.

If I had a choice, I’d rebirth as the pond you stare into.

I called anything my face: blue jays, evening, my mother.

I did love myself—

Even luckless, I high-kicked like a showgirl.

& my boyfriend, the hole in the sky the sun streaked through.

& hope, that prayer zoomed past me, toward the sea.

& night, a shawl against touch.

I thought a man was a catalogue of what could hurt me.

No one told me if I thought wrong.

When it was my turn to talk I stuck out my tongue.

My skin unwound over the mirror.

My thighs paled, two antlers.

First, light wandered me for days.

Aidan Forster is a queer poet from South Carolina. A 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, his work appears in or is forthcoming from Best New Poets 2017, BOAAT, Columbia Poetry Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter, and Tin House, among others. His debut chapbook of poems, Exit Pastoral, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2018. He attends Brown University. He was born in 2000.