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

In Issue 71 by J.D. Gevry

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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

looked

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

Joanne

Integration

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

juice

down to your elbows...

Your invited sowing

a sacrament received

absorbed

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.

Read more work by J.D. Gevry .