[cw: sexual imagery and drug references]

The Trial and Faces

by Peter Scalpello

The Trial

Vague cleft of dawn:

  • Fragility
  • Fracture to warrant
  • My futurity, circadian
  • As truvada, spit
  • Of an SSRI

This morning there is:

  • Another body in my bed
  • All shoulder
  • Hair and sleep apnoea

Lately I have:

  • Made myself home
  • To a great many
  • Pharmasexuals
  • In lieu
  • Of utopia and non-
  • Chemical liberation

Head full of:

  • Flaccidities, I shed
  • Tears only from
  • The urethra

To stop:

  • It would be nice—
  • But the withdrawal
  • And then, I quite liked
  • Being held down

Control must come before:

  • Cure
  • There’s nothing

Poetic about it:


A face is a face and no amount of money can get you a better
face than the one the shade on the street is imitating.
All the faces are the same, and all the faces are good.
The shade knows it, and you know it.

The masc I wear is not a face, but civilisation.
A hand-me-down.
A face is the one I pulled when the wind changed, and I
remembered everything.

the body, my spirit
still faces

Peter Scalpello is a queer poet and sexual health therapist from Glasgow. His work has been published internationally. His debut pamphlets will be published by Broken Sleep Books in March 2021. Tweets @p_scalpello.