Two Poems

by Lip Manegio


i am held in the wet of a mouth & someone names it sermon
my body pulpit / my gender responsorial psalm
        a thing only made complete when someone else repeats it back to me
everything is slick as we break bread and make this a final supper

i lie and do not tell my grandmother
                        i never took a saint’s name
                i say i would have picked Joan
                and maybe it was because i could already taste the light

apostle me to bed
    i mean
i was always something communion wafer

the church kneelers are always the first to be taken by the moss
the tabernacle is always the last
                trying to protect the body right till the end

we were all baptized once
                      we were all sacred once

a hand draws me into oil anointed & a body is made holy again
    i mean
all of the doors have lambs blood above them
        & no one dares to touch me without my prayer


i think of the politics of desire & see both six year old me thinking samantha had the prettiest hair in class & ten year old me’s stomach flipping when a stranger calls me ‘boy’

i want to light up like nothing ever went wrong / i want to sleep through the night again / i want a body i can fit my mouth around / i want all of the moon’s craters nestled under my fingernails / i want my chest to become maria / i want an ocean for a tongue / i want all my teeth hidden / under my pillow / i want my dad to pretend / to be the toothfairy / i want to talk to my mother / like i am eight years old & a girl again / i want to be someone’s son / and someone else’s child / and someone else’s sun / i want to be able to call myself this all the time / no matter what has been in my mouth last / i want to know my own name / and how it sounds covered / in nothing but a love / i want / a want / that cannot be named for me / i want a queerness / i cannot be defined out of / i want to think of a desire / without a turn in my guts

Lip Manegio is a trans, queer nonbinary poet based in Boston where they are working towards a BFA in creative writing at Emerson College. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Flypaper Magazine, Crab Fat Magazine, the minnesota review, Tin House, and elsewhere. They are the author of We’ve All Seen Helena (Game Over Books, 2019).