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.

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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

Editor-in-chief: Stevie Edwards
Poetry Editors: Hanif Abdurraqib, Cam Awkward-Rich, Benjamin Clark, Gala Mukomolova, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Raena Shirali

Muzzle seeks to promote writing of revolution and revelation. While all of our editors have their own likes and dislikes, our collective goal is not to showcase one particular aesthetic, but rather to press our ears against the rustling beyond. With healthy doses of both reverence and mischievousness toward literary minds that have come before us, we are obsessed with asking what beauty can and will be.

​Looking beyond Ezra Pound’s slogan of “Make it new,” we are looking for people who are making the new. We are looking beyond because we need something new. Institutionalized hate, discrimination, exploitation, rape, violence, tangible and intangible theft, and other abuses of power are older than this country. 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. As with a good love, we hope we will sense it at first handshake.

Muzzle has the distinct honor of being the only online literary magazine named as one of the best new magazines of 2010 by Library Journal in “LJ Best New Magazines of 2010: Ten new periodicals rise to the top.” Poems from Muzzle have been selected for Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Verse Daily. Muzzle takes submissions year round for poetry and occasionally has special themed issues. We recently shifted to publishing semiannually: in June and December.

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