Originally posted on Tumblr.
a.f.a.b., october 2019
a. f. a. b.
There’s a woman in my window. She’s staring at me and I’m not sure how I like it. I think she might be me...but it’s hard to know whether that’s acceptable or not. Acceptable. Acceptable. Do things have to be acceptable? Someday I may be that woman, but maybe not. I wonder what turns me off of her. Is it her face? Her womanhood? Her sureness, her unwavering gaze? She has eyes like steel, but soft steel, melted steel, but steel nonetheless. She wears a purple sweater and the glass is frosted so I cannot see her face if I glance out of the corner of my eye. She doesn’t scare me. But she is not my friend.
There’s a man in my compact. He doesn’t look at me. He avoids my gaze and twiddles his thumbs but he’s scared of something. I don’t know what he’s scared of. I don’t know if I should be scared too. I don’t like him. I don’t think about him very much.
There’s a person in my mirror. They quirk their eyebrows at me and they question me. Or do I question me? Am I the person? Am I the man? Am I the woman? They have hair like mine, buzzed on the sides but grown out a bit. There’s a button, or a sticker or something, stuck to their shirt. I can’t read the letters; they fuzz and blur and twitch like ants.
I run my hands over my body and I freeze. Is this right?
I write my name and I write “she” and I say “any, it doesn’t matter.” It does matter. But I don’t know how it matters.
There’s an ocean somewhere, and to venture in it you need a strong boat. My boat is built of twigs. It’s not safe in the ocean, not yet. I avoid thinking about it.
—Who is the woman?
stage, november 2019
womanhood, asks the man on the corner / i don’t provide
it would be nicer not to perform / two lines on my chest
cloth wrapped on my head / two people, one body
sometimes i think of two bodies / which one am i
two days before rosh hashanah 2019, november 2019
two days before
there’s a swell to the voices—
four thousand years and I’m only hearing it now.
I’m shivering, and it’s not just because
I kissed you, and you’re next to me
I kissed you in the dark after the fire
I kissed you and your mother hugged me.
and the notes climb
(your mother leads them).
I want to kiss you again?
I want to kiss you again;
I turn to Ruth and Naomi’s page
and I whisper the sounds to myself
something connects us,
us and them,
us, and them,
and the old people look at us kindly.
comp het, november 2019
1. crying in the passenger car seat, he puts a hand on your back, unsure of how to respond. “i just wish i weren’t straight,” and you’re crying, because it would be so much easier that way, it would justify everything, everything would make so much sense.
2. i’ll marry a man, you tell yourself, you tell everyone, and he’ll be funny and a good dad to my kids. in your journal you write your ambitions: to be married, and to be married to a man. why do you have to force yourself to write that? why do you have to reassure yourself?
3. you’re so nice, you’re such a great ally, someone tells you, and you smile, and nothing in the back of your head asks you why you like those books and those tv shows and those pictures so much. you’re just a really great ally. of course you are.
4. one day you take out your journal, breathing hard, and you scribble in it
do I like like Carolina?
do I like like girls?
(i kind of want to)
5. of course you’ll marry a man. you’re such a good ally, but that’s all you are. that’s all you’ll ever be. you’ll marry a man.
hand in hand, november 2019
hand in hand
what connects us / is it our belief in the intangible? / is it our reverence and anger, intermixed and inseparable? / is it our disconnect, our distance from our homeland / or perhaps something else / when we met we fueled each other’s hunger / wanting to know what’s like, we wanted to know what it’s like / two strings, knotted, cannot be untied.
pencil on paper, october, november 2019
pencil on paper; october
i’ve got a page in a book
all the self portraits i’ve ever drawn
come on, then, and look
one is wearing only a bra
one has messy bob cut hair
one has a headscarf on and
one has borrowed headphones there
one is staring down at its left hand
in pencil one looks straight at the camera
with its neck so well-defined
one is happy, chin tilted down
its face might even be something like mine
my lover is my veil, november 2019
i hide my hair in the touch of her hands
i protect myself by laying near her
my body belongs to no one
but choosing her feels so nice
someday we’ll grow old
how does that old song go?
two cats in the yard
and we’ll wear each other’s old clothes
what kind of society tells you
that you’re a mistake
over and over
hit a man when she’s already down
but now i’m with her
something about that clicks
i curve next to her easy as
candelight, november 2019
“brucha yah,” and i welcome in my lover
the sabbath queen, the shekhina
dance as we dance on the kitchen floor
her people will be my people
i will follow her until my memory falters
and even then my fingertips will remember her skin
in vain, november 2019
today i shut my finger in the hinge of the fridge door
and as in pain i hissed g-ddammit i was pretty sure
that the name of g-d had been uttered before
in worse ways than this, condoning genocide, war
i was certain my g-d and religion were worth more
but yeah, i won’t take Her name in vain, it’s fine, sure.
sitting in the attic, december 2019
sitting in the attic
the world is kinder than you think
a little softer, a little gentler
a little less rough around the edges than you’ve been led to believe
there’s something around the corner that wasn’t there yesterday
and you’ll never walk the same road twice
the jazz music is playing
and the pages come off the printer
and there’s dinner on the stove downstairs
and life is good for a while
i think i’ll keep it that way
because while we may believe in a heaven that’s fake
the alternative is to believe in a hell
missing you is starting to feel like a permanent state, january 2020
missing you is starting to feel like a permanent state
it’s unfortunate how it all happened
i asked, you declined, we tiptoed in a little dance
like tiny ballerinas in a music box, circling each other but
what a shame this is how it happened
we were orbiting stars and if only we collided
it wouldn’t have been much
but a collision’s more than nothing
a couple kisses are more than nothing
our lines look like a pair of chromosomes
they nearly converge at a point but
then they separate again
clinical under the microscope.
prayer for the genderfucked, june 2020
PRAYER FOR THE GENDERFUCKED
You are crooked, you are bent, you are ze and it and fae; you have the words of your elders on your lips and flames in your hands. You have shadows behind you and spikes on your shoulders and anger in your eyes. You have picked up the swords they have grown tired of and claimed them as your own. You name your stars in a universe that will slaughter you if you even dare to name anything at all.
Someone will love you, crooked and bent and all; someone will take your mascara stained face in their hands and sing to you in a raspy voice and run their fingers over your chest and through your hair. They will kiss your battle scars and pockmarks, they will call your name and there will be power in it.
Stake your claims, find your love, your loves, your lovers, pick your words, pick your battles, use the reaper’s scythe to hack your hair, draw your future, name yourself fifty times over. The utterance, the prayer, screaming into the dark: someone will fucking love you!
My Gravestone is Censored, August 2020
My gender is faggy dyke my gender is queer my gender is the rocks and stones that bruised me my gender is fuck you my gender is gay man my gender is lesbian my gender is bi pan poly sexual my gender is all my gender is none my gender is both my gender is neither my gender is if and but my gender is why my gender is why my gender is queer queer queer my gender is fairy fruit faggot my gender if queen my gender is poof my gender is homo my gender is aro ace spectrum my gender is fucking weird my gender is holes my gender is gender