Spring 2024


By Dani Putney

I slept with him. I thought
I knew discipline well,
but no. It’s really about
beauty, the soft palms

of a gorgeous boy against
your back. To be a grave-
yard is a reinvention
of power. To stick fingers

down a black turtleneck,
a slight chokehold, is to know
what’s tenuous in this life.
His name on my lips,

a prayer I am everything.
Because naming is a choice
to relinquish self in quest
for a better self. He taught me

this with his tongue cupping
the back of my ear. Gossip
is discourse, but so is age:
a man double your years

guiding you through creation.
What he doesn’t understand
is I’m already undone, a body
caught within a triple helix.

He’s a reminder of who
I’m becoming. Has he ever
become? All’s left, gone,
a tombstone coup de grâce.

Dani Putney is a queer, non-binary, mixed-race Filipinx, and neurodivergent writer originally from Sacramento, California. Their debut full-length collection, Salamat sa Intersectionality (Okay Donkey Press, 2021), was a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry. They’re also the author of the poetry chapbook Dela Torre (Sundress Publications, 2022) and the creative nonfiction chapbook Swallow Whole (Bullshit Press, 2023). Their poetry appears in outlets such as Cream City Review, Foglifter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Puerto del Sol, and Quarter After Eight. They received their MFA in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women and live in Reno, Nevada. www.daniputney.com

Spring 2024