“i think i’m who i think i am” 

This was found on a wall type-written on fabric on a street called Dean in Brooklyn on a walk beside a poet who noticed it at almost the same time and while the poet photographed, I thought of all the ways these eight words mean something.

Perhaps one often wonders: what am I, really?

Perhaps there is a sense of: What is felt is what one really is.

I’ve got all these phantom feelings. Ghost gender. I think I am something invisible to others.

Several evenings ago, a human came up to me after a performance and they asked what led me to what I wrote. They wanted to know who it was about. I say: me.

They immediately looked at my chest and I tried not to notice. I was unbound, yet covered by shirt and vest. They said: But I don’t understand. What you wrote about….well….I’d have expected you to have bound your breasts or something.

My chest inhaled deeply at that moment. I began to defend my (momentarily) unbound chest, but stopped.

I announced again: It was about me. Bodies are complicated and don’t always need to defend inconsistencies. 

I think I’m (still figuring out) who I think I am. I think I may always be. I think there is something deeply impactful about giving ourselves permission to change our minds about how our bodies/gender/heart/voice/skin/mind/… make us feel. I think I may never figure all of me out. But that should never stop us from continuing the translation.

here, there is life. here, there is body. here, there is awareness that we are always in draft mode.

You hold yourself far differently when you present your body in a way that expresses all your letters. Twenty-six in the English alphabet, but on you, there are symbols and instrumentation, breath work and ingredients poured into skin. On days you go nude, you hunch a bit more. On days you flatten, your shoulders are flag-wavers, saluting sky.

All of this is intentional.

On that evening you entered dark bar wearing placards of body parts not quite attainable or desired by you, you explained in silent gait that not everything on a body needs to match. You think of the moment you first fell in love with collage. The cut-up of images and texts, glued together to create something else. When you call yourself performance artist, you channel this medium. Your bones are uncut, but everything else has become a hodge-podge of imagery and experimental discourse of gender and identity on skin.

Everything is deliberate. Nothing means nothing. All of this makes sense because it arrives on you from you.

how to take up space.

It can be difficult to spread out. To offer oneself permission to take up space. On New York City subways, men spread their legs, bang knees up against the humans on either side of them. I often find myself, pressing my thighs together, backpack on my lap, feeling like a piece of paper: crumpled. Lately, I look at these limbs of others and how they spread. Male. Female. Gender non-conforming. Transgender. There is a spectrum of bodies and there is no one way to present it.

you called my chest a slide/like a carnival ride/slid palms over the smooth and flat.

We apologize for the ways in which we walk around. Say I’m sorry when others bump into us. When we bump around inside ourselves, who do we apologize to? Spreading out is beyond just space. It is how one experiments with movement and presentation. Nothing is constant; nothing remains the same. Even maps must be revised and floor plans and weather patterns. Bodies continue to flux and should be encouraged to do so.

and in that moment of collision/our bones were genderless/we were shadows entering each other/we were a climax of vocabularies