My other gender curtseys.
I hold her as one
holds a flower,
not knowing its name.
My name opens on both sides,
plastic mint container, two holes, sizes:
to share and not to share.
I hold myself
in a pot, water boiling.
Both of me
swirling. Drink
the other’s wake. Reach
for metal edge. Slip.
No one tonight
wants to punch my throat.
I dance like a frog
in high heels.
In dark my genders collide,
incense over
that old-wood smell.


Samuel Hovda was born and raised in rural Minnesota. He now attends the MA program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. His poems have appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Contrary Magazine, and elsewhere. You can find him at SamuelHovda.com and on Twitter @SamuelHovda.