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Nex Thing

The hormonal implant has taken hold
and I cannot seem to stop buying plants.
A kind woman sold me a pothos while
misgendering me over and over

like petting a cat the wrong direction.
I’m pushing an unwieldy orange cart
at Home Depot to buy one supplicant
succulent. She quakes in the cupholder

on the drive across punctured Washington.
I’ll protect you, we say to each other.
She’s holding a sword behind her back.
We are ready to fight a minor god.

The first time I killed a plant I complained
I had better things to do like read books
as though books are not made from plants
as though weekly water was such a weight

My tricep pumps progestin now
I carry the watering can up the stairs.


Olive Esther Kuhn is a Philadelphia-based writer, translator, and organizer whose work focuses on queerness and surviving capitalism. Their first book, Losing Lorca: a mixtape critique, was published by Recto y Verso Editions in 2020. Their work has also been published in Laid Off NYC and La Voz Magazine (translation and literary criticism) and Socialist Alternative (political reporting). Olive writes and performs music under the project Spidr. Their work can be found at oliveestherkuhn.com & spidr.bandcamp.com.

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