by Sebastian Cole
Upon rising from the ashes
I felt soot fall from my mouth,
My tongue an unfamiliar entity.
it attempted to speak “she”
but could only utter my name.
Even that sounded different
depending on how my head turned.
I was not dead, nor the same.
My arms flexed unfamiliar
with thick veins like tunnels
burrowing through my underground,
guiding out versions of myself that
had yet to feel sunlight on my skin.
Some were disappointed at the
surrounding cloud cover.
Some days I am “no preference,”
androgynous as a lamp post.
Just metal and wires, beating electric.
I imagine plunging my hand deep into myself,
the rotting remains of rust against the steel of
me elbow-deep in 500 years of future soil.
This is me finding what is left of myself:
a pulse, a handhold, a river stone.
And when I swallow it I become again
flame-forged, flowing forward
a new word on a new tongue,
bits of ash floating to the ground.
Sebastian Cole is a queer, non-binary radical leftist living in the Pacific Northwest. Their poetry spans a variety of themes including the political, love, relationships, mental health, comedy, sci-fi, and dreaming alternative societies.