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A Line From This Poem to Me by H. E. Casson

The name was a line

From my grandfather

To my father

To me


The charm that promised

It’s a boy

Was for a bracelet

Mother wore

That jingled when she danced


(I did not get the name

But the bracelet came to me

When she stopped moving

Out of joy)


The doctor

Who delivered us

Said three times

In just three years

To mother

It’s a girl


The minister

Who delivered us

From evil

Said three times

Here’s what a girl should be

Charming and silent

I knelt to agree

A line from my grandmother

To my mother

To me


My mother

Who delivered the edict

Said three days into seventh grade

You need to wear a bra

And I cried

My body telling lies

With hips and lips and eyes

And blood to touch my thighs


I couldn’t stem the blood

With maxi pads

Or razor blades


(The two felt much the same)


I could only hold it back

With track 10 on repeat

With hunger strikes and overalls

And army surplus boots


The holy back-room exorcist

Who promised me delivery

Said three times

Confess and I will cast it out

But she lied

You can’t cast out a hole

The space where something’s meant to be


You can’t abolish neither


I dress it up in skirt and tie

And beads from speaker-heavy trucks


I strip it down to nothing

And cut love into my skin


And on my arm

Tattoo a charm


From the space

To the nothing

To me



H. E. Casson (they/them) is a queer poet and voice actor. Their words have recently been

published by Cast of Wonders, Lunate, Taco Bell Quarterly, and Serotonin. They are a Best of

the Net nominee, and were selected for inclusion in the Best Indie Speculative Fiction 2020

anthology. H. E.’s voice can be heard in the Moonbase Theta Out and Disenchanted podcasts.They can be found online at hecasson.com and as @hecasson on Twitter.

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