Harold Norse Says Beauty is Exclusive to the Cis and We Should Never Change Our Underwear | poetry | Tyler Raso

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 

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.