day 3: exposure

The more you’re exposed to different narratives, and the more you see there’s not one way to be anything, the more you question and interrogate your own way of being in the world.”  ……Thomas Page McBee

No one asked. There are no messages inquiring. But I still feel the need to answer.

because my button-down collared shirts look so much better resting against my parts.
because I know they are mine but so are my fingernails and I bite them off every single day.
because as I get older, I am less inclined to pick a side.
because I never knew I had the option before.
because though it is uncomfortable, I feel more comfortable. 
because I thought I’d give it a try and it’s been over a year and I am more and more sure that it is right.
because we don’t have to comply with what exists on us just because we were “born” with these parts.
because sometimes they are so painful to look at.
because I feel closer to the “me” I have dreams about.
because I am interrogating my parts and finally taking notice of the hidden narratives on my body.

there is no such thing as static

“I am a rare species, not a stereotype.”   ― Ivan E. Coyote

You electrify the pulse in every fingertip just to push away the static of noise telling you how to be.

You squint your pixelated pupils in order to pronounce whatever words fit you in this moment, even if you have never spoke them before. Even if you can barely understand them. What matters is it is you right now.

You put on your glittered denim, hip-hugging pants even though they are several breaths too tight and you wore them when you called yourself something else, but you can still be queer or male or gender variant no matter the size of your zipper.

You decide to channel william s. borroughs’s cut-up method with the language of your parts: for the rest of the day your genitals are housed in your brain and the space between your thighs are your fingers, writing down all your thoughts.

You give yourself permission to linger in front of store windows and blow kisses at the reflection of your blur.

You have no idea what stereotypes are these days. You are a cornucopia of moments.

 

remind me what it sounds like.

Talk about what it means to lose your voice.

Wait.

Talk about what it means to give your voice away and exchange it for a different pitch. To leave your tone behind because it never matched the way you heard yourself.

Talk about this new slope of sound coming from your lungs and lunging off your tongue.

i never knew your voice before it changed, so i cannot imagine it as anything but you

Talk about the sensation of hearing your voice echo against your ribcage. Is it softer now? Deeper? When you speak out your syllables, do you curve your back toward the resonance or are you still hesitant to call it yours?

sometimes i think about what it will be would be like to walk away from the ring tone of my voice

I gave away my voice a few years ago to a couple of strangers who misspelled my name and mangled my limbs into a paint stain. I traveled to nearby bodega, picked up a can of chick peas, an onion, some ginger and a voice. On a Sunday, I biked along a path full of yarrow, red maple, windflowers and picked a pinecone in the shape of my voice. I climbed a bridge and contemplated then executed a jump, felt several boroughs collide in the form of water washing away the trouble in my skin and there I spoke several octaves of breath control.

if only i could pick and choose what changes

 

dragging gender through the track marks of punctuated body

Found and feeling this:

“The hard part of realizing and accepting your own gender is trying to explain it to people who have never questioned theirs.”

I was trying to explain the punctuation mark called period ( . ) to a student of mine.

Use it when you are done. When you have completed your thoughts and you’re ready for another, I suggested. It is the end of one thing, which begins another.

So then of course, I think about body. Will I ever reach a time when I am ready for that period…a time when I can say: it is done. Complete. I understand it and now I am ready to begin something else. 

We are more like exclamation marks amidst a crowd of questions. We must be loud and stern and sure. But what if we are not.

What if when you ask me what it means when I call myself queer, I answered:

I just need to give myself room to understand what all this means. Queer is my elipses. 

I search out my body among others. I want to know that what have exists elsewhere.

I sit beside a human with the backdrop of sunset and concrete fountain and notice hair on their legs so I let mine exhale in their direction.

I speak about breasts with another and want to understand what it means to want them there or not want them there but still have them touched.

When I am asked what it means to perform in drag. I say:

I cannot choose between masculine or feminine because neither feel enough. So, I create a hybrid of both and all and that is my performance.

All of this feels like weaponry. But it doesn’t need to be dangerous or threatening. It can be powerful and conversational. I want my body to be a dialogue that allows space for opinion and observation and reconfiguration. Stares can be heavy, causing discoloration to the skin. If you notice something like a scar or rip out of space, search out some words and ask me what it means to live like this. But then but then but then be prepared to answer it yourself.