Forgive Me Body by Leo Dragstedt


Two Poems by Leo Dragstedt


Pigs, Stars and Love Hearts

I want to taste the stars.

From here they look like

sugar spills in the sky.

I wonder,

are they Parma violet sweet

are they hard like love hearts

and will they taste like valentines to me?


Did you know that a pig cannot lift its head?

Evolution has given them only a short neck,

they cannot look up.

At times I feel like a pig

seeing stars for the first time,

tilted to the side

seeing a whole new part of life.

I wonder how I lived so long,

so still.

How I managed to miss

this part of the world,

and who I’ll be

next time I ride this tilt-a-whirl.


Forgive Me, Body

When I’ve struggled to embody the man

who’s been mummified inside of me

I have tried to starve him out,

choke him down.

To swallow mountains in my throat

because it’s hard to thread words through rock

and not come out sounding like gravel.


I have tried to be my father’s son,

to be someone who doesn’t make a fuss

but I’ve proved myself unworthy
even of my own trust.

So I just want to apologize,

because this body

is the best I’ve ever possessed.


So god bless the chest

that holds my heart.

It’s contained the bastard

as it’s fallen apart.

And bless the parts

I’ve sworn at.

They’ve professed

their love

no matter how compressed

each beat,

each breath.

Every second I have left

is a lover’s gift to another.


I have had the audacity

to let you hurt by your own hand

for not being the man I thought I needed.

Now please forgive me,

for I love the way

I curve like the earth.

I have seen

horizons rise and unfurl since then,

flexibility in manhood since then,

so let courage be

my extra rib

and may I whittle it myself.


Leo Dragstedt is a 20 year old transgender student nurse and poet. He enjoys gardening and embroidery in his spare time. He was a member of the UOB Unislam team 2020 and has been published in the NHS anthology ‘These Are the Hands’ and will be in the upcoming issue of Eponym Magazine. He performs at open mics around Birmingham and is the new co-host of the open mic night Grizzly Pear.

28 October 2020