I Was a Teenage Frankenstein

This story is paired with Chapter 3 of Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.

I was a teenage Frankenstein
sutured together from parts
of long-dead parental passions,
all bits larger than life, but
inorganically joined, my
stitches visible and black,
animated by hormonal
imbalance and a brain not yet
ripe, lurching with reflexes not
yet tuned, listening in on
those who had whole
families and hearts,
aching for both, confronting
creators impotently, and,
unlike Victor’s monster,
unable to beg them for
a mate, or lash out in anger.
So. I never killed, or fled
from angry village mobs,
but rather slunk into college,
where I opened long necks
on my neck bolts, played
full back without grace,
but also without pain,
and so lettered, and studied
anything that would let me
escape my mismatched self.
In that, I was, at last,
just one of the crowd.


Greg BeattyGreg Beatty lives with his wife and dog in Bellingham, Washington, where he tries, unsuccessfully to stay dry. He writes everything from children’s books to essays about his cooking debacles.