pre-passive | Rae White

after James Gleeson’s Primavera (oil on canvas, 1953)


two washed lemon-gold with trampling        tawny-toes ; coaxing fingertips 

across salt-lips of moon-licked          mouths ; feathery pits            smooth-greased 

in awe ; docile petals             like hair pinch-plucked ; pincers    chatter 


a swollen omen ;;


but you’re busy pushing        tongue-muscle against the pomegranate 

of my eye ; we’ve lived alongside.            so long ; only now you wish to see 

what  I’m made of ;;                       but you should know             

my mollusk-tickled biceps    are more bite                than flex ; 


so please , pumice 


my glisten-cheeks with your palm ; unfold                lichen-limbs to stretch-strain 

to inspect   to gawp      to ignore    the sharp wink of warning ;;







Rae White is a non-binary transgender poet and writer. Their poetry collection Milk Teeth (UQP) won 2017 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Rae’s short story 'The Body Remembers' placed second in 2019 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. Rae is the editor of #EnbyLife, a journal for non-binary and gender diverse creatives.



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