“Young Dyke” by Alison Hazle

Alison Hazle


No one calls me that

anymore. But that long Y,
it licks the space. I long
for that Y in my name.

Am I still young?

These other dykes
are young, wet
from their clamshell
wombs. I am dry
having smoked and smoked
and not slept and been not
well for quite a while.

But I am a dyke,

I think. This was my surname
for years. I wore it
like some fucking

Birkenstocks. Art school dykes
would run their palms
along my unshaven legs
and feed me pitted cherries.

Still sometimes I ran

from this title. I have worn
sweet perfumes, let my nails
grow, spit on Amy Lowell’s grave.

From between my legs,

Missie said I was no dyke.
Why did I bring venison
and not a bowl of hummus?
So I asked her,

don’t I look like one

from this angle? I have rested
my head on the laps
of men, sure, but I am
fuzzy and mad and mad
about Hacker.

If Eileen Myles had a cock,

it would be sucked red
by all the New York dykes.
I am not above this.

We, dykes, are a delicate

species, only able
to communicate
through erasures
of Sappho poems,
the soft exchange
of shirts, the moving
of shame from one
body to another.

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020


Alison Hazle: “As a survivor of art school, I often find myself turning to the odd and the absurd when writing a poem. This is, of course, when I am not trying in vain to write something new about grief. I am pursing a degree in English, currently living in Baltimore with my beloved python, Ted.”

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