Torrin A. Greathouse

cantfindit

torrin a. greathouse (she/they) is a transgender, cripple-punk, MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. Her work is published in POETRY, Ploughshares, & The Kenyon Review. They have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Effing Foundation, Zoeglossia, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. They are the author of two chapbooks, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm (Damaged Goods, 2017) and boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018), and the debut collection Wound from the Mouth of a Wound (Milkweed Editions, 2020). Source

That's So Lame

He says when the bus is late, when the TV

show is canceled, when a fascist is elected,

when the WiFi’s bad. That’s so lame! I say

rubbernecking my own body in the bath

-room mirror. See, every time lame comes

out a mouth it doesn’t belong in, my cane

hand itches, my bum-knee cracks, my tongue’s

limp gets worse. Some days it’s so bedridden

in the bottom of my jaw, it can’t stand up

for itself. Fumbles a fuck you, trips over its

own etymology, when all I want to ask is Why

do you keep dragging my body into this? When

I want to ask, Did you know how this slur

feathered its way into language? By way of lame

duck, whose own wings sever it from the flock

& make it perfect prey. I want to ask How long

have you been naming us by our dead? Baby

-booked your broken from the textbooks of our

anatomy? A car limped along the freeway,

a child crippled by their mother’s baleful stare.

Before I could accept this body’s fractures,

I had to unlearn lame as the first breath of

lament. I’m still learning not to let a stranger speak

me into a funeral, an elegy in orthodox slang.

My dad used to tell me this old riddle: What

value is there in a lame horse that cannot gallop?

 

A bullet & whatever a butcher can make of it.

Published:

2020

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

Themes:

Disability

Health & Illness

Literary Devices:

Dialogue

conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie

Hyperbole

exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally

Personification

the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing