Week 40: Ben Togut


Coercion Aubade

I’ve told this story so many times
it’s just words to me: a boy shatters

the glass panes of my chest,
pale fingers roaming, his breath

a fetid bloom on my neck.
I’m tired of writing this poem,

of explaining how a boy
teaches me to be a forest fire

when I did not ask to burn.
Forgive me: maybe this

is what I get
for being spineless, a body

hushed into silence
a body petaling into flame.


Ben Togut is a queer poet and singer-songwriter from New York City. He has received national recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, as well as an honorable mention from The Wesleyan University Hamilton Prize for Creativity. His recent work is published in Rust + MothGlass: A Journal of Poetry (Poets Resist), and Bitterzoet Mag. He is currently an undergraduate student at Wesleyan University.