© Stefan Hengst. All rights reserved.

is the name
my wife proposed
had our child

been a boy, a circumstance
our daughter pieces
together using the biologics
of probability and possibility.
She wears the name bodiless
under her blanket robe, dresses

herself in fantasy school dynamics:
lunch table nuance, the twinges
of sports and Scouts, undercurrents
of inequality during craft time and roleplay.  Life
as male.  She feigns hostility

when we reveal her best friend
Emma could have been an Emmett,
might be
in some alternate
universe where
my wife

who swears
she’s coming
back male
next time anyway

really is;
gender norms

Ruffled by this multiverse talk

from dinner, reconvenes
to her living
room chess

game, grateful
her queen
is the most powerful
piece in play.

Wayne Mennecke is an Islip High School biology teacher who hunts for dinosaur and mammoth fossils in Montana and Tennessee with paleontological research groups during the summer months. His poetry has been published in the fracking anthology Fracture, as well as various print and online journals. His first chapbook published in 2017, Pencils Down, used poetry to chronicle his experiences teaching high school science. He is a member of the Sunday Grind and Seatuck Writer’s Groups on Long Island. Wayne lives with his wife and daughter in Bay Shore.

Appears In

Issue 8

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