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Joy Belonger


tanner I

to preserve ligaments I stress

to Him we have x months plus one


usually no acorns tough it gristly

shell borne in a cup-shaped loch


the gender-neutral term of which

is folk (latin for a woman who walks


into a room devoured by wolves

only to return in a red-white dress)

tanner II

fury knew my limbs splintered oak

my ears a widening lisp over my heart

I am eleven and a half a voice


fully-grown whispers around

a kindecorner disgusting

I hate the sound of skin but


who can say what light is bend

ing who can say what is wind       

tanner III

instead of a small place consider

the gargantuan or the no space

consider a forest with zero trees

curving the humps of the horizon

or the sun or all stars or etc

a decision with no consideration

nothing breathes more air than


the dark nothing takes up more plot

Joey Belonger photo.png

Joy Belonger is a queer transfeminine writer living in Iowa City, where they are a poetry MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Previous work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Cleaver, Barrelhouse, The Cardiff Review, and elsewhere. Follow them on Twitter @JoebyElonger.


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