Two Poems by Luca Kjos

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


“Are you Frankenstein, or the monster?”
“Frankenstein is the monster.”
The m-word, always spat like an epithet;
I promise to be better than this.

“Are you Frankenstein, or the monster?”
I am both, but proudly and not shuddering.
I carve my ribs out of sandstone.
I do not abandon my body to the storm.

(Not anymore.)

A question of identity:
Prometheus, freedom-giver bound?
The bestowed clandestine fire?
The eagle, obeying orders and hunger?

Bloody organs slipping down my throat each day,
Settling somewhere inside, blooming
Between the sandstone cliffs
Tongue aching for the sweet gasp of salt?

“Are you Frankenstein, or the monster?”
Neither, either, whichever philosophy allows,
But I sing to the body I have grown, regardless.
I would not dream of averting my eyes in horror.

(Not anymore.)

“Are you Frankenstein, or the monster?”
I, monster-bodied (in truth), will not regrow my liver.
I will bleed out on the cliffs and float wild above them.
I will lick the forests and hearths clean of offerings.

I will scrape and shape and shear a skull and a spine.
Long after I am dead, I will be my own creator.


Born, or, Became This Way

I love you like lungs
I love you like a nervous stomach
I love you like a pre-teen body averting its eyes in the locker room
I love you like long hair
I love you like short hair, and stares
I love you like teeth, and the confession that slips between them
I love you like bitten nails
I love you like a fist raised at a protest
I love you like each organ removed, then reassembled into something you can kiss

Photo of Luca Kjos

Photo of Luca Kjos

Luca Kjos is a sophomore attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where they are pursuing an English BA. They are passionate about disability and queer rights, and write both page poetry and spoken word.