Chase Berggrun


Hiemal winds from below skirt and shift

I squeeze and the want becomes apparent

I stumble in my shredded shoes

Slapped squarish in the leaf by a falling face

Out of an empty liquor store struts a lamb with books for feet

An old crow keening right behind my ear

The stars exuberant and over-permissive

I dance nervously with a felled branch within the jurisdiction of automobile

A bird crashes into the window of the poem

I’m ever closer to a brink each day off by one letter and

Everything’s wrong suddenly

All the flags bear crossbones

All the phases of the moon throughout a single night

I scream but from my lips only a heavy cream

Nothing is good here I claw the concrete

Nothing good or noble except the ailanthus forever defiant

The flowers too wet to smell gone limp

Hedgerows that don’t exist

Fake grass on fire escapes

We strut as a city into the evening together frustrated by its earliness

Overwhelmed and underdressed

Chafing needlessly at neutral interaction

Ready to resist literally anyone or anything

No socks no masters

Chase Berggrun is a trans woman poet and educator and the author of R E D (Birds LLC, 2018) and most recently the chapbook Somewhere a seagull (After Hours Editions, 2023). Her work has appeared in The Nation, American Poetry Review, Poetry Magazine, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City with her many houseplants.