By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (1945) – Elizabeth Smart

Alas, I know he is the hermaphrodite whose love looks up through the appletree with a golden indeterminate face. While we drive along the road in the evening, talking as impersonally as a radio discussion, he tells me, “A boy with green eyes and long lashes, whom I had never seen before, took me in the back of  a printshop and made love to me (…)”

“One should love beings whatever their sex”,  I reply, but withdraw into the dark with my obstreperous shape of shame, offended with my own flesh which cannot metamorphose into a printshop boy with armpits like chalices. (…)

I am over-run, jungled in by bed, I am infested with a menagerie of desires: my heart is eaten by a dove, a cat scrambles in the cave of my sex, hounds in my head obey a whipmaster who cries nothing but havoc as the hours test my endurance with an accumulation of tortures. Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic orders?


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