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Yearbook Pantoum

By Carson Sandell



Kindergartners lined up in black and white,

boys photographed mid-shove on metal benches

girls allongé in laughter. Torn jeans and hair spikes

I wish I could tap dance out from those trenches


Boys photographed mid-shove on metal benches,

though I wasn’t pushed, they clocked truth before me.

I wish I could tap dance out from those trenches

I would ripple like ribbon and cambré into a C


Though I wasn’t pushed, they clocked truth before me.

Nauseated, knocked to knees, I begged for ballet shoes,

I would ripple like ribbon and cambré into a C

a stardust beauty laced in layers of iridescent blues.


Nauseated, knocked to knees, I begged for ballet shoes.

Joy is a bike with bells and a basket; cornsilk curtains,

a stardust beauty laced in layers of iridescent blues

not half-shattered smiles. I know for certain


Joy is a bike with bells and a basket, cornsilk curtains,

midnight makeup; beauty hidden by moonlit dread

not half-shattered smiles. I know for certain

closed door transformations saved ash from windspread


Midnight makeup, beauty hidden by moonlit dread.

Clouded irises surrounded on a page of youthful radiance

closed door transformations saved ash from widespread.

Oh my true teenage soul faded like everlasting gradients


Clouded irises surrounded on a page of youthful radiance,

a childhood spent tip-toeing around murky manhood.

Oh my true teenage soul faded like everlasting gradients

if I could pirouette back to reclaim myself I would

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Carson Sandell (they/them) is a Trans poet from San Jose, CA. They are studying Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry at UC Riverside. Their work has appeared in Dissonance Magazine, Windows Facing Windows, Drunk Monkey Magazine, Wrongdoing Magazine, Fahmidan Journal, and Full House Magazine, and more.


Enjoyed Carson's work? Send a tip straight to their PayPal: Carsonsandellwritings@gmail.com

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