In Which Our Wants Are Worlds

Jasmine Reid

We have a house in the suburbs & it is quietenough here to hear when flowers burst.When buds open their mouths to speak. It is spring.We have two kids & I stopped painting my nails.We have two prescription bottles of anti-depressants& your loneliness swallows them all one night.We have a roof that doesn’t leak & a Saturn Vueof mercury with squeaky brake pads.Every time we slow down it soundslike the car is warning. What small nag.Want. We speed up & our backs press flatagainst the seats. We speed up & want is the humof the engine, the street lamps blurringpast. We can’t move.We bought a vehicle of want.Our hearts rot oppressively in the trunk.                        You tattoo an arc of I am, I am, I am.                         Want under your left breast. You dye your hair                         pink. You have your mother’s smile                         & your father’s sense of humor. When he yells,                         your lips flare & sun-scorch the walls,                         radiating an attractive array of want.                         I am not a good Chinese boy.                         Your grandmother cries over dinner                         but you say you are very, very happy.                                                          I am eight & the boy I love lives in the attic.                                                          I am eight & covet my sister’s flower dress.                                                         No one tells me I can’t have the boy & the dress.                                                         My want lives in marigold fingertips.                                                         My want is the god of touch. My want petals                                                         in spring & blooms all summer.

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Print This Poem

Jasmine Reid is a twice trans poet-child of flowers. A 2018 Poets House Fellow and MFA candidate at Cornell University, her work has been published or is forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine, Yemassee Journal, WUSGOOD?, and WATER. Also a finalist for the 2018 Sonia Sanchez-Langston Hughes Poetry Prize, Jasmine was born and raised in Baltimore, MD, and is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Follow her at


Issue 22

Brittany Rogers
Raena Shirali

Poetry Editors
Benjamin Clark
Gala Mukomolova
kiki nicole
Lily Zhou

Stevie Edwards

For the past decade, Muzzle Magazine has published writing of revolution and revelation, and in 2020, on the precipice of a new decade, we will continue seeking submissions that move us not just in feeling, but also in intention. We resist the notion that a journal must have a fixed aesthetic, or that submissions for a new issue should mimic the style or approach of poems in previous issues. Instead, we are looking for poems that move (us) beyond.

Institutionalized hate, discrimination, exploitation, rape, violence, tangible and intangible theft, and other abuses of power are older than this country. To that end, we are dedicated to upholding marginalized voices, and prioritize submissions by BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and disAbled authors. We are seeking new answers to old questions and old answers to new questions. We are seeking something we don’t know how to name yet.

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.