I Know My Wedding Day Will Be a Coronation & Funeral Too

by Golden

                 for Golden

I command the procession as any southern Black
                                                                 widow would—coal laced, fangs erect,
red velvet rippling underneath my abdomen sealike.
                                                                 Each bridesmaid, the kin in Kevlar suits
& the poplars in patent heels, leads the hem of my gown
                                                                 down the aisle in their teeth.
Cam carries me on his back, on his hip, like any father
                                                                 without a child would.
Traditions must die when we turn our backs to love
                                                                 what cuts between our own self-hatred.
For years I was an arachnophobe, who couldn’t forgive
                                                                 our animal for its form.
A dame who would only devour mates as defense–
                                                                 less love. If I opened my mouth
back then, I bet a boy bullied blue sat believing he
                                                                 couldn’t gaze. girl. god.
Faggots, meaning to grow up gawked at even by the smoke,
                                                                 we wear our guilt gutted
on our gunmetal boots. Holstered. I guess, I am proof
                                                                 that our fears molt as we
 get older. Look at me now, waltzing. I ate the submissive genders
                                                                 of myself and became a diadem.
 a fairy. a falling hourglass webbed to many myths & no carcass.
                                                                 I am a ghost for marrying many
 selves & corralling us mandible misfits to celebrate?
                                                                 How do you think I black like this?
Widow like this? The apex ain’t in all of us. There was a door
                                                                 at the bridge of a lover’s
breastbone & my father’s surname. & I entered.

Golden (they/them) is a black, gender-nonconforming, trans-femme photographer and poet raised in Hampton, Virginia, currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts. Golden is the recipient of a Pink Door Fellowship (2017/2019), an Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Luminary Fellowship (2019), the Frontier Award for New Poets (2019), and a Pushcart Nomination (wildness, 2019). Their work has been featured in the Shade Journal, The Offing, wildness, Button Poetry, BuzzFeed, i-D, Interview Magazine, and elsewhere. Golden holds a BFA in Photography from New York University and is currently a City of Boston Artist-in-Residence.