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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Cadostin


We’ll be standing on the rough

carpet of the church I used to call


and their eyes will dim at the news.

They’ll roll it around their mouths

like stones in the riverway,

the heavy truth of it clacking against their teeth.


(soon too, I think)

their whispers of my shame

will materialize

and greet me at the foot of the altar.

Ask me,

“Don't you know better?”

“Didn’t we raise you better?”

When they refuse to join me

to my lover’s hands,

You will not fight for me.

Someday when they peer

through the paper thin disguise

You swore was protection,

because no daughter of yours could ever be talk of the town.

When they see who I am and demand that I wear someone else’s skin,

You too,

will insist I practice shapeshifting.


when I am a patchwork of other people’s desires,

someone else's scared, hasty stitches keeping me

sewn up,

You’ll swear that the price of the transformation was worth it because

You can only love me


What can anyone do with a love like that?

Edited by: Rachel Goulston

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