Below is the 7th installment of The Prism Pages that was featured in the May + June “Chosen Family” Issue. Original poetry by the talented Whitney Carter, William Smythe and Sarah Sunshine. Enjoy!

The Cost of Asking

BY: Whitney Carter

I never asked for much, but for you, all of you. But maybe that was asking for too much.

So I wandered, wandered off into a world of open arms filled with deceit and lies. Their fingers gravitating to areas of my soul I thought I kept tucked away but they managed to unlock it with their warped sense of affection and labeled it as love.

But I took it with a graceful smile, hoping you would see through it and see that the risk I took was all for you. Producing a fountain drenched in my tears, hoping you would take a drink, and then maybe my pain would resonate and you would feel that buried underneath it all was always space I held for you.

But you did drink and you felt nothing. It was as if you looked into the glass filled with my sorrows, but instead of seeing me you saw yourself and you never could tackle your own demons. So you wrapped me up neatly and placed me on a shelf.

So I became another story your trauma wrote and placed to the side. I became the demon you couldn’t face, but the only who truly knows you no matter how hard you try to hide.

It must be the hardest thing to look at me and know I came from you, it must just crush your spirit to see that unlike you I chose to push through, I chose to be the light at the end of my own path, I chose to live, I chose to love, I chose to laugh. I chose me!

And I will continue to choose me, despite you. But I thank you, because losing you allowed me to find the missing pieces of me… I no longer wait for you, I unlocked the chains you placed on me and set myself free.

I never ask for much, just you. But I see that was asking too much. Because you never had it to give. But I did, and I still do, so I won’t get invested in those arms filled with deceit. I will put my faith in me, an embrace I can trust, a love that will always be free.

Whitney is a native of Mississippi who’s been able to call the Memphis-area home for almost seven years. She is a poet, writer, and deep thinker who genuinely loves to love. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in human and social services.



They come at us with lawn mowers and
sharp knives, fire and motor oil.
But, we are sturdy.
We grow over their cold marble,
their hard stony fields.
We have always made this world
more beautiful than they ever could.

William Smythe is a local writer and poet. He has been published in multiple magazines, both online and in print, and works with the community creative workshop collective, Memphis Writers.

Tran is Humanity


they tell you
to hate me
trying to
pulling out their
big guns
and laws
all of their flaws
on full display

fear the loss
of their power
loss of all
they don’t know
how to survive
without all their lies
and total control

we are to be feared
because we know
who we are

we are to be feared
because we don’t
fit their mold

Trans is love
Trans is strong
Trans is power
Trans is Human
Trans is Human

we won’t let
their hatred
tear us down
any longer
we are stronger
than any cishet man
on an ego trip

I stand with you
My chosen
reach out your hand
and take mine
all of my love
yours to hold

and we won’t let them
take away our Humanity

we won’t let them
take away our lives

Trans is love
Trans is strong
Trans is power
Trans is Human
Trans is Human

Trans is Humanity

Sarah Sunshine (fae/faer) is a trans non-binary teacher and writer. They grew up in Memphis and are continually working to build safe spaces and communities for faer queer family.