this may be the real thing.

“if i could be who you wanted/all the time…” –R H
I think I might have inhaled you/i can feel you behind my eyes –S
all along it was a feeling of fevers/ and this dizzy weaved circles of you/ even before and now  –A H
I can’t change/even if I tried/even if I wanted to  –M L
that I would be good /whether with or without you  –A M
how about this sleep that weeps through the feathers/ there are more doors and this floor has let loose its save   –A H

When is that moment where we decide to announce a feeling. So often we enter rooms full of humans of varying strengths and genders, inclinations and dents. How about we address the ones who cause our limbs to remember all the ways in which they can bend and speak.

I enter a room full of strangers. I was not invited, but brought along by a friend who was. I find a corner to lean into and spread my web of skin to cover me. I imagine myself as invisible, even with this hair and these poems on my skin. When I first notice this human, it is as though I am remembering my birth. It is as though I am taking my first breath, my ribs expand into a smile that only my flesh can feel. My eyes finally understand their parts: cornea, macula, iris, retina, optic nerve. I channel kundalini and hope that my exhales will be inhaled by them.

I let go of magic years ago, but in this moment I wonder what hides between us that can be turned into realism.

Label (noun):  small piece of paper, fabric, plastic/ sewn into garment/ instructions for care / classifying or clarifying phrase applied to a person or thing/ identifiable marker

I let go of these years ago. The only times I choose to label myself is to stick over the incorrect ones forced on me. My attractions to humans have wavered like Winter and can no longer be tracked or understood. It just is. I arrive at an attraction due to the words that speak out from their mouths rather than the shapes on their body that tell me what they are.

So this human stands beside me and cannot see the web I have threaded around me. I notice their lips, darker than mine. Not from lipstick but from the pigment of their family tree. Their chest is flat like I want mine to be. We speak about the competency of caffeine and efficacy of gender. Their hands are veiny like the most beautiful trees tangled by flexible branches. I want to ask them to use my dimples as a P.O. Box; to write letters and slip them in there. I want to tell them that I cannot be found on screens and much prefer paper. I want to hand them the stamps I keep in my notebook and extra pen and paper (not skin this time) and we can channel the decades when there were no outlets. I want to ask them to write me their morning. I want to ask them to sew me into their evening.

want to.

Instead, our knees remember each other even though this is the first time.

Instead, I eventually leave and write several poems that I wish had been birthed earlier.

I let go of magic many years ago. Too many hearts squeezed like lemons, burning open wounds. The pain of muscles trying to let another in. And then…..the eventual…..let go.

In the first hours of this new Winter, I search for them. Call out a line-up of lips and knees and hands and tongues, because I can recall the way they licked their top lip when they were cooking up a new sentence. I have become a sleuth. Sometimes one needs to be in order to believe in what Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote about.


blur |blər| verb ( blurs, blurring, blurred ) make or become unclear or less distinct

The one who drips toes beneath cold Colorado reservoir tells me to be in blur.

I want to locate it. I want to disrobe it into translation.

What is our rush. How do we want to be approached.

I do not want to be ma’am’d or miss’d or lady’d or woman’d. When my chest is dressed, I want it to be paved road or the way I remember New Jersey to be: concrete. flat. unmentionable.

But I’ve got all this hair and you spent over twelve years comprehending humans due to their predilection to pink or blue. I am neither.

How can we greet another. [how about: hello.]

On this side of the earth, it is necessary to ask questions like: what pronoun do you prefer or what part(s) on your body are not permitted to be fingered or gathered and what is your relationship to your gender today?

This does not have to be academic or disrobed. I just want to take teeth-bitten fingernails and scratch my way out of this space. I just want to (im)properly footnote my way into a way of surviving this. Apparently, ace bandages are dangerous and can cause dislocation. I have purchased something more formal and I wait for its presence in my mailbox. I am going to attempt to hold off on the scissors and see if I can [dis]member my gender without scheduling a buzz cut. My shoulders have been called small. My hips have been titled sexy and curved. What do I want to hear. My wrists are strong and have fought wars. My feet are cut up and callused from walking through state lines just to run from this body. My collarbone is clumsy, but also chatty. Ask it any question and it will respond in sliced up poems from Lorca or Bukowski.

What to call all of this.

I keep reading books on gender in order to find mine. We’ve gathered up so many acronyms and delineations. What hasn’t been mentioned. What is left to claim.

You are taking shots of  T to claim the body that has been hiding inside you;  I wonder what stimulated sap exists to get me closer to what I am. All these ledges I’ve been dangling on and I am trying to find a reason why I’ve done things. I am trying to translate the trauma of my bones.

For now, see me as a window with raindrops. Obscure and faint[ed]. Keep asking what I call myself. And pause before each touch so I can force my reasons out. Tell me I am handsome and comment on the sparks of language on my brain, rather than the red in my hair. See me as human…that is all I can claim so far.