Introducing Noah Baldino, Our 2017 Summer Resident

If you've been paying attention to our social media, you may have seen our announcement that Noah Baldino will be our summer resident for 2017. We're thrilled to welcome Noah, who was the winner of our annual Summer Residency Contest, judged this year by Khadijah Queen. In case you missed it, here's a little bit about Noah and a poem they were kind enough to share with us from their application:

Noah lives and writes in the Midwest, where they are currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at Purdue University. As a culmination of their two-week residency, Noah will read at the UA Poetry Center on a date TBD. Please stay tuned for more information on this event.

 

THE BELVEDERE TORSO IS MISSING HIS BREASTS

 

All of us men huddle around the testicles

of an ancient sculpture, tired of the staring

& missing an upper half. Manhood

in the Classical Period just wasn’t dependent on girth

like now says one. Everybody sighs.

 

I’m suddenly aware of how my skin catches

my clothes at certain creases, of the barbed

underwire of my bra. What a violent

contrapposto, almost bursting into battle. I think

the feet, two marble throats, might choke

 

on the cold plinth forever. I draw my own arm

forward to graze the cavity of chest, of where

would be the chest, my hand swatted away

too soon. All the men fold their arms. I’ve never

seen such tender kneecaps, such quiet, shamed

 

hips. The ferocious divine. Such brutality not possible

in copper or bronze. God, I want them to stop

looking at me. I wish so badly for my broken hands

to cover my breasts. For my muscles to billow

as I turn, finally, my tongue a heavy stone.

 

All men are fashioned after these old gods. Their bowties

taunt me, blitzing the gallery as my curvature gives me

away. Now thousands stand snickering before me,

ripe with thought, tugging open my stone-smooth jaw,

a banished fresco waiting on the roof of my mouth.

 

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