Nora Hikari | Girl 2.0

GIRL 2.0: poems by Nora Hikari. Number 25 in the Robin Becker Chapbook Series, selected by series editor Steve Bellin-Oka. 

cover image by Paul Bilger

Publication:  March 14, 2022 [100 copies]
47 pages
ISBN 978-1-949333-85-5
$ 9.00 + $2 shipping in US

Nora Hikari (she/her) is a transgender poet and artist based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming at Ploughshares, The Shade Journal, Palette Poetry, Gulf Coast, The Journal, and others.  She can be found at her website, on Twitter at @norahikari, and contacted at, and she invites correspondence from readers, especially transgender readers.

I call this one “Not Hating Your Own Kind”

Mannequin fingers are soft if you can unwind them into realness.   
Plastic has a place in my household. What’s a plastic flower? Delicate
and immortal all in one. I love a created thing. I love fucked-up things  
just a little too much just because they’re fucked-up, y’know? I love a 
fucked-up looking doll with patchy hair and broad shoulders. I love an 
unloveable pear. In the beginning we were asked to name the world.  
It’s the part of creation we were given. I get to say what a thing is,  
you know, as my birthright. I get to draw the lines.
I write my name. I write my own name, over and over, into life.

I call this one “letting me see myself in the mirror.” I call this one    
“an act of vicious rebellion.” It goes like this: I love you. I love you  
and I’m not afraid of saying that. I couldn’t bury your bones even if I
wasn’t sobbing and I thought I could dig. I couldn’t. There’s something
desperate and unkind about coveting snowflakes as they fall, in
all their spindly and wavering tragedy. All of this could be gone in a  
second. All of this could melt in my palms but I’m sorry, I just need to
hold it close to my lashes, let the crystals see my tears. This is what I
mean when I say “we need each other more than we need ourselves.”
Before there were names there was the water—water that hadn’t been
allowed to name itself. The water is old, and bitter, and wants to make  
us like her. The water would like to drown us one by one, it would  
love to seep out of our bones, where we buried her, like a child in
swaddling. It would love to hold us down by our throats and smother
us while we thrash and thrash and apologize to our fathers. Look at
me. I’m in the water with you. I’m right here. Have some of my 
breath; it’s why we kiss.

–Thank you to Anomaly for first publishing this poem.