there is beauty in the ridges of your forearms

Here is the thing:

I don’t really spend much time “getting ready”.

I don’t own a brush and because of this some knots have formed. Some, I’ve recently cut out. Some, I leave because the stories are too massive to slice off of me.

I do own a mirror and it reveals the entire length of my body, but it’s more of an acquaintance than a best friend/soul mate. I am often told I don’t match.

I recently learned shoes must match the rest of the outfit.
This is difficult to aspire to when I only own one pair of black converse high-tops.

Oh, and stripes do not match other stripes.
I’m still not quite sure I agree with this one, so I tend to rebel against it.

Next month, I am performing beauty.

That is, I will be singing some songs that have arrived during bike rides, during moments when I am alone and just want to turn myself into a radio or self-contained Broadway show.

I will be reading text: memories, poems, declarations of my own beauty and what is seen.

What is queer beauty?
How do I want my beauty to be seen? To be known? To be heard? To be remembered?

So, as I continue to write this piece, I find myself thinking about beauty a lot .

* * *

I see a human.
This human is dressed in black and piercings and scars.
How do I not notice the scars.
Am I supposed to not notice the scars?

And they are beautiful.
And suddenly it feels like this human has skin made out of mirror-flesh and I can see myself in her.

This human spreads her wings or arms and begins to poem.
I watch her watch us watch her.
And she is beautiful.

I would like to take the power away from this word because it doesn’t sound strong enough or it has too many visuals attached that are not relevant to my version/interpretation of beautiful.

Airbrushed humans = not beautiful.
Skinny bones starved and gasping = not beautiful.
Flesh that is wrinkled or tattooed and painted or pierced. Flesh that is devoured by languages and stories = beautiful.
Ignorance = not beautiful.
Openness to all kinds and removal of all labels to make room for the in-betweens = beautiful.

Recently someone asked me about performance.

Do you normally do that on stage? I wish I wasn’t so self-conscious so I wouldn’t be afraid to do that.

That is defined as performance art/ as my body climbing a naked man, attempting to force him away/ binding him and taunting him/ angrily mounting him.

I don’t often think: I am going to take my clothes off now. It happens because the words push them off or my emotions force them away.

So, I answered:

I’m entirely self-conscious and I believe many people are. But I let go of that once I hit a stage. If I am too worried about my stretchmarks or cellulite, I’d never go nude.

Stretchmarks and cellulite = beautiful.

Or if I waited for my stomach to get flat like floorboards or six-pack of highly defined muscle, I’d never take my top off.

Bellies that are curvy and folded like Victorian fans = beautiful.

This is a continuous language. A discovery that doesn’t end.

Self-discovery = beautiful.

And when that self-discovery never forfeits……when we leave room to re-define and re-name, that is most beautiful of all.

2 responses to “there is beauty in the ridges of your forearms

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