2 Poems by Evelyn Benvie

this is the story of a happy/broken family

my daughter asks me for a cake/brother

but we don’t have enough eggs

the shells crack but nothing comes out

my husband lies with/to me at night

his voice heavy on the edge of everything

we fall together but land separate

i sit/cry in the room upstairs

and think about repainting it again

the blue doesn’t fit this house anymore

but are you sure

i am a grayscale painting

with purple accents

yes but are you sure

they whisper

maybe if you—


don’t think that i have not

(don’t think that i have to)

because i did

before i knew better

i kissed a boy on prom night

or, rather

he kissed me

and i felt nothing

but the press of lips

like dying fish

flopping, gasping

indignant and unwanted

but i said nothing and kissed back

it seemed the right thing to do

in college, i kissed a girl

sweet and brown and drunk

her lips like vodka hot chocolate

and almost thought it was okay

she was jokes and laughter and movie dates

she was my friend

she still is

but i felt nothing

i kept trying, though

to find solutions

to problems i didn’t have

i kissed a man at a club

let him touch me

in places i didn’t touch myself






but i let him

suffered his fingers and his tongue

and wondered what i should be feeling

and then later

much later

yet no time at all

i tried to kiss a woman

all curves and boots

and fierce tattoos

but she wanted more

and i let her take me apart

and not put me back together

because i

didn’t think no was normal

because i

just wanted to be normal

and hadn’t realized yet

i already was

Evelyn Benvie is a queer writer who's just trying to get by, pay the bills, and find time to work on that novel. (You know the one.) She lives in Connecticut, in her childhood home nestled between the woods and the sea, where she finds inspiration for writing mostly on the internet. Her work has been previously published by Fjord's Review, Cuento Magazine, Nanoism, 101 Word Stories, the Same, and in Impact, a Queer Sci Fi anthology. Connect with her online at evelynbenvie.com, or find her on Twitter: @EvelynBenvie.