tweed understands the idea 

of her knows where to press  

who to call how to thread a sheep 

through a lion remembers how like a field  

it is how like freedom & the  

waistcoat knows when it needs 

to clench, her jacket an elder butch’s 

arm across her shoulders thinks 

Is the only way out of woman 

man. How can the exit 

also be the fire? 

Dudizile does not 

get dressed she unlearns  

she drapes her ansisters  

around her is wearing a suit 

of ghosts tonight 

look how she shines how they stand  

beside her & speak 

through her  


they say: be careful my mannish 

daughter walk backward the first stone 


is returning.  

from C+nto and Othered Poems (The Westbourne Press, 2021), © Joelle Taylor 2021, used by permission of the author.

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