Tempered


I’m becoming tempered,
Like a piece of stolen glass,
A splinter in a shoe,
Life and death are working their bloody entrance,
Into my body.

I remember the smell of molten metals,
The hiss of acids at the jewelers,
Poured over silver and gold,
The smell clogging my throat,
Until I couldn’t breathe,
Tempered.

And you – you die,
A sudden crash,
The fire extinguished,
The splinter inside traveling towards the heart,
The beating hand like a bird wing,
Like a song,
Like something that is missing.

Another you with an overdose,
And a you with a broken aorta,
And a you killed in bed,
People die.
The glass inside my heart,
Splintering into millions of pieces,
Traveling throughout my body,
I am covered in broken glass.

I’m becoming tempered,
Your cane by the door,
Days-of-the-week medicine,
But really —
A you fucking me slowly,
Me coming, flowing upwards,
Roaring into a sailor pillow,
You whisper, “Dude, sweet”,
And we sleep together.

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About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a genderqueer San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran. They live with their Maine Coon cat, Lulu, and bake yeasted waffles every Sunday morning. Behrouz Gets Lucky is their first novel. You can find their erotic short stories sprinkled in various anthologies, including Best Lesbian Erotica 2015 and Sex Still Spoken Here. Avery is currently working on a book of more of Behrouz and Lucky's shenanigans, a memoir, and an illustrated early reader children's book about a eight year old transgender boy and his family.
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