Bottineau, North Dakota

Bottineau, North Dakota 

Basil Soper 


Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed

rang like a dense lucent gong 

lids stuck together

for a moment I twirled on that bridge

between sinking reality and hallucination 

a flash where my brother wasn’t an addict

I knew how to ice skate 

we read Langston Hughes on a lake

but the snowfall was drips of blood

we unfastened our jaws 

let it stroke our tongues


let us observe this moment,

I have opened my eyes again

just like the first time 




I was cut out of my mother’s womb

umbilical cord necklace hung past my heart

both poor and transgender

battered and hooked


 a kindhearted existence,

covered me in a sweaty sheet of sorrow


wedged on the border 


I absorbed

This Week’s Pipe Bombs Show the Dangers of Political Incitement


How the Media Normalizes Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric


Trump Administration Erasing Transgender Identity 


this hotel mattress is a tightrope 

hovering above fatality 

and a made-up home,

one hand holding firm

my other calling you in; 

come celebrate with me! 


day-to-day has tried to kill me 

and has miscarried.

*Hello Basil here. I am the founder and Executive Director of Transilient. We travel the country interviewing trans and non binary people about things outside of their physical and social transitions. Our car broke down in Bottineau, ND two days ago. This only happened a day or two after the Trump admin released the memo surrounding transgender identity. We’ve been stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting on a repair. I woke up from a nap and I don't usually write "political" poems because lives aren't really political. I hardly feel as though the President deserves to be mentioned in my work but I wrote this.

ALSO this is Bottineau :

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 5.59.24 PM.png

Basil is a man of transgender experience, writer, photographer, intersectional activist and Southerner. He is the founder and Executive Director at Transilient. He has been published in numerous publications in print and online. He majored in Creative Writing at The New School with a concentration in poetry.

Basil Soper