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Pax Butchart



About Pax

Pax Butchart is a poet and novelist currently living in York and studying for an MA in Environment and Social Justice.

Their writing deals with themes of embodiment, relationality, ecology, community, resistance, queerness and hope. You can learn more about xyr writing @wishiwasatwaterbeck on instagram.


Sodomite Girls

Content note: slur used


Are not as simple as they used to be

I heard him complain

Half to his mug of beer 

Half to his companion

You can’t tell who they are half the time

And the men are no better

Too busy groping at each other

To have time 

For the girls

Who are too busy groping at each other

To have time

For the boys

The girls 

The boys

The twisting water-shapes of neither

One nor t’other

Are dancing the skeleton waltz

To the edge of tomorrow

All wracked and spiced bodies

Magicked into impossible forms

The sapphic boys with their 

Soft soft lips 

And the girls

The sodomite girls run riot

Fires in their eyes 

Weaving the wild under their hands

Coming together in a shock of 

Violent surprise and unrecognition

To breed or fight or sing 

Sky-shattering druidcraft of sodomite girls

Fleeing the blood

Of mechanistic things

Clanking like bells or gongs or the cries

Of cranes over the marsh 

And I at the other end of the bar

Dim-lit and smoky looked up 

At him and saw his mutton-chop soul

And his lonely little eyes waiting 

For mummy to come home

And the way he swilled his beer around his tongue

Wishing for half a wit of the courage 

Of those shining sodomite girls

And I said


You wish it could be different

When he stuck out his tongue at me

It was plated with gold

And he and I and all of us 

Were for that moment transformed

Into sapphic boys

And sodomite girls


About the poem

"I wrote this poem last January, at a time when I was exploring my gender and sexuality and what both meant for my personal identity as I tried to make a decision around whether or not to have gender-affirming surgery.

I was thinking a lot about expression, about masculinity and femininity, and about how queer affinity and solidarity can transcend specific labels and experiences to encompass whole communities.

The poem is part of a larger selection of works I penned in this period considering what manhood, womanhood and transness really meant, both generally and for myself.

In it I seek to blur the boundaries between arbitrary categories and to examine the psychology that keeps people so wedded to them, ultimately offering a moment of cathartic and joyously queer connection between reader, narrator, author and characters."

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