pronouns

I did not want to want to write about gender anymore. This appetite had proven too troublesome to whet, too voracious to tempt. My limbs turn backwards and I can only look up – up at the artists, up at the scholars, up at the authors of renown and I hiss, I spit. My teeth rattle. I am no monster, but the question an answer begs. Behold the impression of your temperance – to just taste, just try, just have a little! Restraint requires the image of excess. Better it should be settled, I say. Better to be photographer than photograph.

“What are your pronouns?” is an oblique question, a way of asking, “Of what do you die?” You borrow the question from me and put it in flip-flops. Surely you are the one who needs this answer from yourself. Hasn’t it always been clear, like the slime of my eyes or the lens of the camera or the spit glistening on my teeth, of what I die?

I learned in dance classes to lay flat on my back and exhale, imagining my navel collapsing into my spine. The possibility of emptiness is what moves the body and not knowledge of fulfillment.

There is the possibility that the desires which coalesce as enfleshment are a wretched ecstatic emptiness, an aching gasp, an esophagus open, a reach which pulls the reacher off balance.

There is an audible emptiness in the question, “What are your pronouns?” Still a question better suited for you who is cursed to have words than I who is cursed to lose them. The closer they come to me, the sooner they escape in a force which enlarges, twirls, and entangles. As a word, excess differentiates itself from surplus when it makes things violently present.

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