Transition Sonnet II 

Understand what is it they’re coming for.
To be shown, not told, what’s between the legs.
I’ve gotten so good at not flashing myself.
Turned off the nerves in my left hand.
It pulls under my skirt, tucking behind my back
a small pink beta fish in a glass sphere
and a compact mirror. The audience wants me
to hold it all up, both hands in concert.
Watch the fish bash itself against the glass
until it looks like someone shred grapefruit pulp
in the water. Listen as I weep to tell you
I trained that fish to recognize its own reflection.
Don’t cry for the future alone.
Hush now. Gravity files us all down.


Joshua Sassoon Orol is a trans Jewish poet from Raleigh, NC, writing with the texts, tunes, and stories passed down from their mixed heritage family. Joshua completed an MFA at NC State University, and received an Academy of American Poets prize while at UNC Chapel Hill. Their work has most recently been published in the Jewish Literary Journal, Nimrod, Driftwood Press, and the 2018 Mizmor Anthology.