Stone Telling

[HOME]      [ISSUE]      [ARCHIVES]      [ABOUT]      [GUIDELINES]     [BLOG]

Kiss Me / Change Me

by JT Stewart

You told me I was
too big to be called cute
that cute is for small
not for me

and I felt my neck
poke through the clouds
my knuckles trail
on the sidewalk
my bare feet burst
through my sandals

You laughed at my
slick rain coat
said green was a great
color for frogs
and old lily pads

and I felt my skin
shrivel and wither
go sticky w/ the muck
and slime of a pond
stagnant w/ flies

The frog is a prince
hiding out
in a ridiculous skin
a prince of a man

Kiss him
and he changes
but what about me

What about me

JT Stewart (poet, writer, playwright, editor, teacher) co-founded the Clarion West SF Writers' Workshop. Recently, she participated in POETS FOR CHANGE – an international reading of 100 k poets reading on a single day in 115 countries.

As a woman of African descent, she often writes about cultural collisions and the fortunes/misfortunes of people touched by diasporas – both real and imagined. Readers can sample her work in The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry (Rose Lemberg, Ed.)

Placement of JT's poetry broadsides include: Western Washington University, the Seattle Art Museum, the Washington State Convention Center Galleries, and the Allen Library (University of Washington).

The audio for this poem was recorded at Jack Straw Productions.

"Kiss Me / Change Me" was originally printed in Love on the Rocks — Yet Again (Lamaya Press, 2011). Reprinted with permission.

Read JT's discussion of this poem over at the Roundtable!

Photography: adapted from ONCE I WAS A PRINCE by Fabio Gismondi.