Elder of Cups

to the girl that came before
by River Miller | October 10, 2020

I never asked to be a liar
trickster
good girl

but my body has deceived
too many : pretending
that my love is honey
bred from a glass vase
filled with freshwater pearls
licked clean
and left empty.

there is a fire in my belly
that I cannot control.
I have splinters in the
roof of my mouth
and pebbles in my cheeks.

don’t kiss me.
I am a scared boy
in the husk of a
good girl
unable to produce honey.

my belly is almost full.

will you still love me
when I am a wildfire?


River Miller (he/him) is an indigenous and queer artist born, raised, and belonging to q̓ic̓əy̓ (Katzie) ancestral lands in “Langley”. He is currently an uninvited guest working and living on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Musqueam, Squamish, and Sleil-Waututh) territory in “Vancouver”. His written and visual work deals with how he takes up space as a white-passing, indigenous, queer, mentally ill, transgender person existing in spaces not made for him.