THEM, Poetry by Lelia Pollett

Genre: Gender, Life

by Lelia Pollett

When you ask
“What is he like?”
He is like she
For the ‘S’ longs to touch
The silent and make a combined sound
Transforming the he of two letters to three
HE is he
But she
In the same context of letters
Rarely stands alone
Without the slipping
Consonentual hiss
In her mind he is a perception
Of “what he should be;”
Within minds, twisted to wind
The strings of dependence
Towering compartments of understanding
If broken down still remain erected
In the imagination and the T
Before he in the: is just an extension of
Railing pronouns whose s is silent before
The audibility of a scream
And ‘Shhh’ turns he quiet
And stopped short of following sound
While she is long as her hair
And easier to pronounce
Flowing through the wind
Of the esophagi
HE fills the throat with forced air
Choking it with an abrupt vowel
Leading into that empty pause
Before the next verb
She starts with the tongue and palate
Smoothly ‘e’ flows out
Lingering on the salivation
And folding over the next noun
Now, if you ask
“Are you saying forgetting the likeness
she is he?”
Yes, he is
But frankly
I don’t know him
At all.

    * * * * *

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