Autumn Rose Barksdale

A Collection of Fables


Once, I was a sapling oak, I let birds build nests in the stretch of my spine but they don’t live there anymore.


Once, I named two lips a lover, when they tried to leave I named them fire. When I made them stay I named them water. Until I drowned.


Once, I dressed up in night. a man fed me the moon, I swallowed; and then felt so afraid of the dark.


Once, I let a boy live inside my body. He was a pill under my tongue. He hit my bloodstream and all I could do was sleep.


Once I fucked a ghost to be less haunted. It worked.

But now I miss its company.


Once, I was a boy with a garden blooming in his chest. Now I am the rose bush that grows over his grave. In some ways I have changed, in some ways I am exactly the same.


Autumn Rose Barksdale is a fat trans femme poet/activist from Lake Worth, Florida. Autumn is a public speaker, a trans advocate, a slut, and a former punk-rocker. Her poetry has been published in The Offing, as well as various places online.

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