Griffin Epstein

in your apartment eating sweetcorn with a fork straight from the can as the TV blares and your mother goes after the knot in my hair. stare at the floors. stare at the sky, the sky-blue wall, out the window the tawny brick synagogue façade like a sliding puzzle and the sidewalk where we sell lemonade in plastic cups to people in fancy clothes. when you and your mother touch it is casual as a sitcom. when she runs us a bath, we bathe. look at the heat steaming from us, the tight bulbs stuttering under the skin of our chests. we paint our faces like grinning dogs and ride the elevator up and down introducing ourselves to strangers in a desperate vaudeville hungry and open and completely unafraid. when your mother hosts a party for other single women, we stand around and catch the futures dropping from their mouths, our bodies smooth as puddles at the curb on a midnight lull in the traffic briefly still and undisturbed.

Griffin Epstein is a non-binary settler from NYC (Lenape land) working in education and community-engaged research in Toronto (Dish with One Spoon territory). They have been featured in Glad Day’s Emerging Writers Series, and their poetry has appeared in Grain, The Maynard and Plenitude, among others. griffin is the author of so we may be fed, a chapbook forthcoming from the Frog Hollow Press. They also play music, make video games with shrunken studios, and develop multimedia work with various collectives.

© Variant Literature Inc 2021