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.

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the first time I was afraid of my life was the first time I felt alive

It was awkward like the first day of school or trying to eat ribs without getting the sauce beneath my fingernails. While she pressed her mass on top of me, I counted the stars or were they airplanes. They flirted, blinking their silver lights.

Then she inserted her finger and I worried her nail polish might flake inside me, creating an infection or complicated aroma of varnish. Then a moan and was that mine.

August is the perfect month to lose one’s virginity because the night air is so dismissive to the sweat sweetly intoxicating fast-moving parts and although the mosquitoes tempted us with suggestions of an orgy, it was just us beneath plastic swing set held captive in her parent’s backyard. At first, I could only focus on the scent of Parliament cigarettes on her skin. It was too dark to create pictures connected by her freckles but I could feel them grind into me. Another finger and the mosquitoes have ignored our request for solitude and what if one bites me on my vagina.

She kisses me with a tongue that feels monstrous, but warm and tastes of what I imagine I must taste like and she doesn’t really want me to touch her and I worry she’s just pretending I’m her boyfriend or our boss who’s suits are always unhemmed and drag against the movie theatre tile. The moon is watching and it’s kind of like a giant nightlight guiding our limbs. Her fist is inside me and this is love, right? Is this love.