“Les Hommes des Vertes Montagnes,” “Understanding Joanne,” and “Integration”

“Les Hommes des Vertes Montagnes,” “Understanding Joanne,” and “Integration”

Photo by Nikunj Singh on Unsplash

Les Hommes des Vertes Montagnes

six silent, shaken years

as I traversed the borders

between genders

my father’s tuque

he gave me

one snowy day, leaving home

I placed it on my head

and looked

backwoods Vermont gruff

     the cologne of snowmobile exhaust

     woven into my flannel


like Pépère : like him : like

     his son

and I silently kept

and cherished it

like a memory

we never had

  Understanding Joanne

Ma grand-mère, Jeanne d’Arc

                         assassinated/assimilated to Joanne

                                    on the journey to the land

                                     of my birth

   My name, an empty line

                                  on the journey from the sex

                                of my birth

Elbow-deep in soil

tugging tender roots of our tree

for reclamation : for declaration on Official Forms, filled and filed

in a dank small-town court

to bring me home to a place

I’d never lived

now assumed foreigner

in the only land

I’d ever known

Introductions/ethnic interrogations

dressed as

friendly curiosity

                                       but I know

                  what they really mean is

Why are you different?

You are not Us

Explain your existence, the

history of your bones

till one day I finally understood

Jeanne d’Arc

I understood



You’ve traversed intimate terrain

mapped my Holy Topography

a complex geography...

Stained your fingers

plucking my high-hanging fruit

juice dripping off your elbows


down to your elbows...

Your invited sowing

a sacrament received


traveling through veins

warm, transforming

like me...

I know you can’t stay

but you will remain

in my marrow

About the Author

J.D. Gevry

J.D. Gevry, MPH (they/them) is an emerging poet writing through their lens and experiences as a queer, non-binary trans French Canadian American from Vermont. Their work primarily explores the complexities and intersections of sexuality, gender, class and the street economy, race, and ethnicity. Their experiences as a married polyamorous person inspire much of their work; J.D. is currently writing a book chronicling the development of a lust-propelled tryst into a sordid romantic affair with a man in an open-turned-monogamous relationship. They also had work recently published in "Flush Left," an online series produced by Indolent Books. They are particularly interested in supporting and/or participating in community-focused creative spaces which privilege and center the voices of marginalized and underrepresented artists. For over a decade, J.D. has served in roles in the public health and social service sectors and spends their spare time love-lost among the ferns of Massachusetts.

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