Editor’s note: This poem is part of our #SpreadTheWord poem of the week series, featuring work by Chicago artists based on Injustice Watch reporting. This poem was inspired by Emily Hoener’s story, Prison guards mocked transgender inmates in two private Facebook groups. For more poetry in this series, click here.
The first woman I made love to was named Mary. No, not like the virgin, but I do wonder about biblical lesbianism.
Mary’s fingers interlock with mine. Palms calm in desert air. A Bethlehem night. She leads me down to the manger, welcomes me onto a woven mat among prickle stick hay. Her skin moist like the linen left out to dry—tastes of frankincense and Dead Sea salt.
This story does not end in immaculate conception. No loyal Joseph to protect us the way virtuous men think they do. When the townspeople peek between fractures of boulder wall, they see her supple breasts and my bare lips. I am sent to an empty field.
White draped robes surround me—fists and hands and stones. Hot winds of dusk stroke cheeks, cracked earth caresses my bare feet.
I wish they respected me enough to crucify me.
Patricia Haney is a poet originally from East Lansing, Michigan. Haney is currently a senior at DePaul University double majoring in Writing & Rhetoric and Creative Writing. Their work has appeared in Chicago literary magazines such as Motley, Eclectica, and Crook & Folly.