I changed 

my name 

into running water 


all over my body now 

a ditch 

in the conversation 

we’re having 

a party without noise 

you hear me 

don’t you 

know my pronouns 

do you 

want to be my friend 

you’ll need my name 

for that 

my name 

a bright white 

hornets nest

of change 

what exactly was I 

going through 

anyway my body 

so front 

so center alive 

in my brain 

dragging out

the truth  

from underneath 

a pearl 

in a sea of dirty 

silver fingers 

didn’t know 

how to change just 

knew I needed 

to be carried out 

the ditch 

of my body 

carried out of the pool 

by my shoulders 

gold foil

coming out my mouth 

can you imagine 

choosing how to be called 

into your body 

to taste 

the front seat

of your teeth 

caught on the cloth 

of a name 

some of my friends 

are ashamed 

the hours each day 

I spend running 

water all over my body 

clean or messy 

shirts cling 

how to be a burial 

swollen pouches of dead air 

gauzy water 

I keep pulling my name 

out other people’s 

sobbing mouths

twisting liquid 

tumbled finish 

a body I can live in 

I know 

what this world is 

what it does 

I got this mark 

between my legs 

full of graves 

heavy scent 

a wet dripping dream 

someone else’s pleasure 

dials up my pain 

I’m doing it 

shaving centuries 

off my body 

the flat disfigured 

surface I’ve become 

the water 

running through me 

tricking everybody 

the first day 

I chose my name 

no one else knew 

what to call me 


my body now 

unbearably mine 

the blood is 

red candlelight 

trapped in a jar  

the corners are alive 


the stab of light 

tremendous sweat 

the fluid metal underside

of my eyelids 

i run my hands 

all over this body

a bundle of clipped wires 

a blur of nerves

a slow hurl 



to be trans 

is to be carried 

to yourself 

by yourself 

and yourself 


mud howard