Josslyn Turner

Out of the letter that shakes in my hands

like a vulnerable leaf in a nuclear wind.

Out of my mother’s arms and the words,

“I still love you.” Out of strangers’ stares

that crawl over my new skin. Out of fear

of loneliness in a new world.

The cry I bring down

from the boy

belongs to the woman I’ve become.

I am my mother’s daughter, though I still hear

my dead name. She still tries to sound out

the one I chose.

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Josslyn Turner is a transgender poet, writer, and abstract artist. She is currently an English Major at Modesto Junior College with a goal to earn a BA in English and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have won 3rd and 2nd places respectively in MJC’s Celebration of the Humanities. Other works appeared in South 85, Across & Through, Penumbra, and Voice of Eve. She lives in Waterford, California where she crashes on her mother’s couch and co-parents two boys.