Harold Norse Says Beauty is Exclusive to the Cis and We Should Never Change Our Underwear A man I dated once said I don’t know what you are. He said Soft as I wrestled spiced tofu with my gums. At the time, me neither, just a gumball hollow on the inside. Mostly artificial flavor. You know the rest. Now I’m ugly from every angle, throwing underwear out the window, worn once, washed a hundred times like a flood. Uglier by the second, inside-out like a scrapyard. Can I tell you a secret: beauty gets me up at night, my body fissuring to the sink, the water never tastes clear enough, my face doing backflips in the blue light. I’m serious. Beauty haunts my every moment. Kicks my ass. Kisses my ankles like a fish. That man I dated loved the word Pretty. Pretty close to beautiful, pretty far from whatever. A light in the attic cooking the dust, a centipede in the underwear drawer. My body is in this poem now, tearing up the yellow grass between you and the page. My body is sick of itself, in love with itself, chasing the rubber ball of itself. My body couldn’t give a shit, gives every shit in the book, takes up space. This space right here. This space which becomes so infinite, so small, when you look away.
Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram
Tyler Raso (they/them) is a poet, essayist, and multimedia artist whose work is featured or forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Black Warrior Review, Salt Hill Journal, The Journal, Sundog Lit, and elsewhere. They currently write, teach, and study in Bloomington, IN and tweet @spaghettiutopia.