Fall 2021

Boy Loses Body

By Halsey Hyer

after Danez Smith

his body never his body
his face exists between his legs
& needs fed again

   open up    prize inside

when saying no doesn’t work    avoid

   this is the hard-on he never asked for

when he thinks the end is coming
but there’s no finish

Boy Learns Pussy

Alone at home, Boy
bedroom door locked.
Legs spread wide in front of the mirror,
bare ass on the carpet.

He doesn’t know
his pussy can be a boy
pussy, his tits can be boy
tits, his body can make boys
with pussies.

No one teaches him scientific terms:
labia, vulva, clitoris (& hood),
vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries.

All he knows is that pussy
is something boys want
& not something they want to be,
or have.

He lights up his pussy
with a junk drawer flashlight.
His fingertips part his pubes, Boy
wonders why his touch shivers
up into his eyelids & escapes
with a moan out his mouth.


Halsey Hyer is currently earning their MFA in Poetry from Florida International University where they assistant teach in the Writing & Rhetoric program. They’re an Editorial Assistant for Seven Kitchens Press, Associate Editor of Pittsburgh Poetry Journal, and Virtual Events Assistant at White Whale Bookstore. Their poem, ‘Boy Wears Bra,’ was selected as a finalist for the 2021 James Hearst Poetry Prize. Their poems can be found or forthcoming in Rouge Agent, Santa Clara Review, Voices from the Attic, Rappahannock Review, The Blue Nib, and elsewhere. 

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Fall 2021