in search of the ones who call themselves ‘other’

I am not looking to add anything [else] to my body. No. I’m just looking to take some things away.

The whole time we were together, I wanted to ask what caused her voice to twist like that. Some might call it an accent; the poet in me calls it curvature of vocal chords. She sat across from me with hair that reminded me of winter: dry and long. Mine was pulled up and I said, “All this red is really a ghost of what I used to be and never was.” I watched her stare her way through me. “This is the last of my feminine.”

And when she asked me how I see my breasts and what I could compare them to, I said, “They are too overt. And although I like them to be touched sometimes, I’d much prefer them paved.”

Tears arrive the moment one admits that there are so many lies laying on skin that movement has become an illness.

I belong to no group because all the things I call myself look (and feel) like nothing that exists. Where are the ones who search for the gender neutral bathrooms because those stick figures are difficult to connect to.

She said, “So, you don’t want to be a man and you are hesitant to be woman. Where would you like to rest?” 

And I think about the human who rejected me because I bind my breasts sometimes and if gender is a celebration, then why must I choose a side? Will I ever find a lover who understands that bodies are like books because they are bound and they are indexed and the ones who do not plagiarize will cite their sources and these bodies transgress. And these bodies question. And these bodies mark up rooms with their footnotes.

She called me brave and I watched her eyes turn into paused oceans. I’d describe my own corneas as shell-shocked. And when she asked me if I had hope, I said: each day remains its own entity, its own gathering of endurance.

These bones and skin…..smoke. Fumes of language and [mis]understandings. As I figure this self out, I will find others finding their way out and in as well. There are so many of us out there. Floating. Fondling our question marks.

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