Robin Gow
shy blood/ i cut my hand /
	    playing with scissors
the rock underneath/ the
of stone where arteries/
should be/ who fills us
up with/ our insides/ a
	    great machine
or maybe a cliff/ jutting
out of the earth

usually red/ I snip off the end of my fingers/
	    with the scissors
in front of Dad/ Mom who are horrified
that their stone/ son/ daughter/ could do
such a thing to themself/ but I tell them that
it’s all for science
my stones are scientific like each of my fingers

aggregate/ mass of mineral crystals/
    	mass of family/ I ask them to
huddle all around me to keep me safe/
they say I’m being unreasonable/ what
kind of stone is only the sum of others
what kind of daughter
needs 18 genders to find the jasper the
hunk of/ failed quartz/ the family
chalcedony/ the mine to dig it out of

rarely blue/ rarely blood/ jasper
    	comes in many colors
but mostly that red I found in
my own arms/

placing the pieces of my fingers in the wooden box
next to all the other minerals/ showing Dad before bed/
    	Dad being horrified/ Dad being excited/ Dad
loving that jasper in me/ Dad calling me stone like I always wanted/
Dad also cutting off the tips of his fingers/ Dad’s a stone/ someone’s stone

Robin Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, the Gateway Review and New Delta Review. He is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at Adelphi University and currently serves as the editor-at-large for Village of Crickets and the social media coordinator for Oyster River Pages. He is an out and proud bisexual transgender man passionate about LGBT issues. His first full-length collection is forthcoming with Tolsun Books.