Like you’re dressed as you for Halloween.

Like starting a new season of a TV show, where your favorite character has a different haircut.

Like you’re Mary-Kate dressed as Ashley.

Like you got a tattoo of your face… over your face.

Like seeing your third-grade teacher in tennis shoes.

Like seeing your doctor in falsies.

Like seeing…


Ben Kassoy (he/him) is…

Ben Kassoy (he/him) is a payphone that rings.

Ben Kassoy (he/him) is a cartographer in a coma, psychokinetically mapping underwater worlds, waiting for someone to one day discover his sunken cities.

Ben Kassoy (he/him) is having three vertebrae removed so he can put his ear right up to his chest…


“Some of it is pretty dark,” she warns.

“I was going through Papa’s papers and I found some poetry he’d written,” Mom tells me over the phone.

“Oh, I didn’t know Papa wrote poetry,” I respond, curious.

“Me neither,” she says. “I just have to warn you, some of it is pretty dark, so I don’t want you…


As an octopus or a queen

(After Major Jackson)

Let me begin again, steadfast and regal like a queen, adorned in an electric octopus gown, deep-sea purple and glowing like the sound of a harp-led orchestra scoring thousands of celestial slot machines in heaven’s casino.

Let me begin again with the body of Ursula’s daughter dressed…


Imaginations ran wild

My mom was all about healthy snacks but knew enough about branding not to call them “healthy snacks” so she’d just ask if we wanted “something to eat.”

A lot of our household items felt either like sentimental family heirlooms or like timeless, origin-less utilitarian practicalities that had always been…


His name was Adrion Skot

I go back to my room in my parents’ house and on the bed my mom has laid out a set of dance belts — tiny beige thongs I had to wear under my ballet tights as a kid, designed to support my curious and newly sentient genitals.

A name…


I just noticed it

My fingers are a dune buggy race down the endless sands of your back, and then they’re a squadron of submarines descending through the uncharted depths of your hair to your very top’s very bottom.

And after so many years mapping your body and its complex topographies, I spy a…


Feels like this

Remembering you is like

the time I went to the mansion of a widow who, until the day she died, kept building and building and building additions to her massive pathological hideaway, like a door that opens to a twenty-foot drop or a stairway directly into a ceiling. …


(And then what actually happened)

Whenever my friend goes on a first date he texts me

I’m going to marry this girl

just so he’ll have the receipts in case he’s ever right. And I think about all the different times, in all the different relationships, that I thought the same.

Like when I got…


The time was short but the memories last long

My beloved, oh my sweet

All the gifts you have given me

The patience and the peace,

Cherry blossoms and the candy

I am yours, I am yours

For as long, for as long as you will have me

- the…

Ben Kassoy

Poet, writer, payphone that rings. Seen in GQ, Elle, Glamour, Teen Vogue, and more. More at www.benkassoy.com. (he/him)

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