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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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