11 — Justice .
If we think of it as a door, the room it opens into is a walk-in closet with dresses and suits.There are ways of cutting things out: a small knife, a surgery behind a curtain, then the heal.One imagines balance as a kind of inaction, getting things to settle and leaving them. And it is,for a while—my mother asks about my boyfriend but I don’t tell her about my floral dresses.For Halloween I went as an icon, panty hose already with a run in it, tip of bowler, bustier,and the highest heels I’ve ever seen. Turning my ankle I couldn’t walk, even barefoot afterward.Cause: queerness. Effect: a subtle rippling then a stillness. I would wipe the slate cleanbut the slate is a cheese grater—I would clean the slate like the whiteboard in class: Your assignmentis to be everything. Simple enough really, expectation being only the act of doing the thing one does.I think we will know how much a word weighs someday, science being what it is—featherto the heart’s red brick, quiet pillars, scale.
“11 — Justice .” from [WHITE] by Trevor Ketner.
Published by University of Georgia Press on September 15, 2021.
Copyright © 2021 by Trevor Ketner.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Trevor Ketner is the author of [WHITE] (University of Georgia Press, 2021) winner of the National Poetry Series. They’ve received fellowships from Lambda Literary, The Poetry Project, Poets House, and Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts. They hold an MFA from the University of Minnesota and live in Manhattan with their husband.
“‘White is not blank nor is it pure,’ Trevor Ketner writes in [WHITE], an obsessive, amphetaminate, formally adventurous, book-length exploration of the palimpsestic nature of art, gender, literature, and selfhood. Ketner’s meditations on Rauschenberg’s multifaceted work becomes, as well, an examination of racial identity, queerness, and erasure.”
—Forrest Gander, author of Be With and The Trace