The Noose

by Corrina Bain

I could arrive from anywhere. Any scarf,
any stocking. An old belt. Shoelaces.
even when the knives and pills and
nasty things are all taken cautiously out
you have not gotten rid of me. I hide.
I transform. I know the glory of the
breath, ridged tunnel of its passage
small throbbing lines of fluid along
the sides of the neck. The muscles’ twitch
and slacken, vision gone dark
then fireworked through with stars.
When men come to me, half the time
they are in search of orgasm, or else
they are thinking of wild west outlaws:
gallows for everyone to see their tough
wronged glory. But when the girls come,
they come to die. To be held in the dark
forever, heavily, no more breath or choices
they freshen the water in the dog’s bowl,
pick an hour of the day they have all to
themselves, and they fashion me, loop
and hitch of the long fabric. They know
the way the body will shed its waste
how the face will twist, contort, they
know they will not be pretty. So
I hold them in a slow
twirl. My newfound brides. Daughters
of air.

Corrina Bain is a gender-nonconforming writer and performer, based in Brooklyn, New York. He has an extensive background in poetry slam, and has toured throughout the contiguous US. His work appears in RATTLE, Muzzle Magazine, PANK,, and elsewhere. He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. He is a staff member at the louderARTS project. More at