i am in between the sentence structure of this body.

None of this is easy to explain. I am called girl or woman or miss everyday.

How to explain: I know I look like all those words, but actually I am none of them.

How to explain: Can you ignore the length of my hair and yes, these pants were purchased in the “woman’s” section of nearby thrift shop, but that is just thread. And measurements and hairstyle shouldn’t declare my parts.

How to explain: There is not just one way to be or exist. Seven days arrive in each week and we can take on a new shape every hour, if we so choose. Not everything…not everyone needs to make sense. Boxes hide things and we should encourage one another to be out and take up space.

How to explain: I know you touched me there yesterday, but today I want to pretend that away. Today, I want to be closer to another gender, not the one I was assigned or the one you think I look most like, but the one I feel.

How to explain: Actually I am not in search of beautiful or pretty but handsome and hearty and smart.

How to explain: My genitals have nothing to do with my gender and asking about them only shows how boxed-in you are.

How to explain: Pronouns have begun to feel like masking tape, silencing my flesh.

How to explain: Sometimes bladders grow into force-fields of superhero strength because entering a room with a silhouette of a “WOMAN” or “MAN” feels unsafe or inaccurate. We need more gender-neutral spaces where we don’t have to choose.

How to explain: You can ask. You can make mistakes, but let’s allow room to discuss this. You can have gaps in your knowledge but how about we glue them with words so that we can all understand each other better.



Oh, like that.

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.


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.