Peter Scalpello

Peter Scalpello


Parallel frauds puff thought into the conditional day, stoned on its light     They can’t help but;     Light gives the iris its truest colour

They as in plural, my shame and its shelter, though both themselves are multiple     They as in the nameless I, a glint within silver parenthesis, or outwith

My shame and I in transit receive aroused messages from a silhouette     You have the bodypart I love, so I love you     To expose your fantasies without a face, then, is to be anonymous     What of the internet is physical, has an appetite?     I angle to read the screen in shadow of myself;     The heart, like the world, whispers on

After not long, Shame is asleep     The weather changes and sheep in the field behind stand back up, unable to tell who started it

We move towards and away from the land on which humans needn’t interfere, wrapping tyre tracks and blood drops ’round the Earth like string     Biological anger and the quiet violence of passivity intersect and, meanwhile, truly I am so unappreciative of balance

We pass alongside a town where the buildings are covered in tarpaulin, there may have been a flood     When I started giving in to desire, my life was washed too     Have the fish here abstained from dance?

It all rushes back to the blackened eye     Through the window I take a photograph of what isn’t mine, the image saves     A catalogue of my flesh exists in a chip among cylindrical servers on the seabed;     Isn’t it awful to be observed     In photos I can see my feminine peeking through like a possibility

To have gender is hard     To not have gender, also hard     Today I can’t decide which I prefer     For this, the word perhaps is trans

At what opportunity does a person choose to abandon their life?     12:04 is morning;     03:08, mourning     I feel one become the other, as simply as somewhere else can be felt as nowhere

Recently I lay in bed for days with alcohol poisoning, losing muscle, softening my maleness through sickness     A conversation with my immunity;     I hear you, I’ll try harder to be real     The fictions we tell ourselves, my addiction to identity

Back to the vehicle:     Shame individualised, I the glowing interior shape of self, the journey we’re on towards an interesting resolution minus testosterone     If memory is distance, how many miles are left until the truth of my own experience?

PETER SCALPELLO is a queer poet and therapist from Glasgow. Their work has appeared in Five DialsGranta, and The London Magazine, among other publications. Peter’s debut collection, Limbic, is published by Cipher Press. Twitter @p_scalpello.