poem index


TC Tolbert

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TC Tolbert often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet. S/he is the author of Gephyromania (Ahsahta Press, 2014) and four chapbooks of poetry as well as coeditor, with Trace Peterson, of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2013). Tolbert teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Oregon State University–Cascades and is a lecturer at the University of Arizona. Tolbert is currently the poet laureate of Tucson, Arizona, where s/he lives.

by this poet


a curve billed thrasher
is cleaning its beak on the ground—
we are closer now than ever—sitting
in shadow—I never want to scare
anyone—not really—I have a friend
who loves people who come out
suddenly—in the dark—
is the same

I wish you (my mother once told me—mother of my child-
hood—even though water is water-weary—what is prayer if not quiet
who has made me—what hands you become when you touch—
who laid down on whose body—whose face and whose shoulders

worth shaking—what will I not hear when