This selection, chosen by guest editor Jillian Fantin, is from If I Could Write You a Happier Ending by Mary Warren Foulk, released by dancing girl press in 2021.
portrait of a queer as a young boy
—after Danez Smith imagine a peacock, upon seeing other peafowl, hiding its gorgeous feather train, desirous for camouflage, perhaps even adoption by another related species, like common quail that blend into their natural surroundings, heard much more than seen. imagine rainbows seeking radiance beyond a raindrop. you don’t like your young boy’s reflection, scratch your face to make it new, pierce the skin for truth. see the scars of that clawing, the shedding of skin. behold what emerges, a seductive ocellus, so magnificent that eye of desire—boy sweet boy—love this worthy you.
Mary Warren Foulk has been published in Fjords Review, The Hollins Critic, Pine Hills Review, Palette Poetry, Silkworm, and Steam Ticket, among other publications. Her work also has appeared in (M)othering Anthology (Inanna Publications), and My Loves: A Digital Anthology of Queer Love Poems (Ghost City Press). Her chapbook, If I Could Write You a Happier Ending, was selected by dancing girl press (2021) for their annual series featuring women poets. Her manuscript Self-Portrait with Erosion was a finalist for the 2021 Gival Press Poetry Award.
Jillian A. Fantin is a writer with roots in the American South and north central England. They are a 2023 Sundress Publications Editorial Intern, a 2021 Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Poet Fellow, and a 2020 Jefferson County Memorial Project Research Fellow. With writer Joy Wilkoff, they co-founded and edit RENESME LITERARY. Jillian’s debut chapbook, A Playdough Symposium, will be released this coming summer from Ghost City Press, and more of their writing appears in American Journal of Poetry, Homology Lit, Tilted House, Spectra Poets, Barrelhouse, and poetry.onl, among others.