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torrin greathouse

i have a dream of drinking & wake 

in the flood light of dawn / blue as the fragmented coast-

line / robin's egg shattered into jagged coves


& in this dream my father / pulls 

a 6 month chip from behind my ear / then makes 

a liquor cabinet / vanish / then saws a family in two 


& this is a strangely bloodless thing


& in this dream my father / pulls

liquor from a bottle / like a jar of air

& this is how i learn to swim


& yes, this is another poem about liquor & drowning

in it / & yes, this is another poem about my father 

where i Houdini him into blood


where i Houdini this into water & swallow 

until all i am is a bloated / stomach splitting 

cells / burst like rain clouds


what is an [alcoholic/magician] other than

a storyteller / rearrange the cards & the story

changes / this is the magic of it: transformation


alcoholic /      magician handcuffed to

riverbed      / handcuffs alcoholic to    magician

/ handcuffed to alcoholic riverbed


the magic here is that when we name

it water / it begins to drink back

we too are swallowed


i dream of drinking & wake in the morning 

sky drowning / the room in light 

pockets filled with river silt

torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer trans womxn & cripple-punk from Southern California. Her work is published/forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry, BOAAT, & The Offing, & she is the author of one chapbook Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm (Damaged Goods Press, 2017).

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