my pronouns for Bubbles, Grace, and Tina in San Tropez

I will not tell you my pronouns
anymore than I will tell you the height of a tree
from a leaf.

Gender is build-up. Perhaps slow like layers of fine sediment, or fast like an overnight mold. Gender is a fruiting body, a result not a cause.

I did not want to write about gender anymore. It’s tiresome, it goes nowhere. What does salt taste like? Did you dream in color, or just remember it that way?

But I will write this time to tell you what I see, which is nothing, which is the possibility that the question of gender is the possibility of the obliteration of knowledge. It is possible that no one is born with gender, has possession of gender, can know their own gender or that of others. There is the possibility that the desires which coalesce to enflesh our frames are an unfathomable emptiness.

And it is this emptiness I peer into when you ask me

“What are your pronouns?”

And rather than feign knowledge in the face of cataclysmic ignorance
And rather than feign attachment in the presence of alluring annihilation
And rather than create the pretext for

that god awful, bourgeois ritual of a “woman” with crooked eyeliner “apologizing” for “misgendering” “me”

which is, of course, the essential proof that my gender was never about me
and it was always about the desire of others to self-flagellate at the shrine
of my immense faggotry

“Apologies from Geri. She’s so so sorry! Nicole is weeping with regret!”

I tell you I am ambivalent.

And you ask again.

And I tell you the same.

And the people assemble to settle on a pronoun for me: “they”
which is, of course, not neutral. There are no gender neutral pronouns.

The only possibility beyond the two poles is becoming a third leg and turning an unstable system into a stable regime. You cannot escape gender because your gender was never about you.

(Don’t tell me I never warned you.)

Which is not to say that you do not exist, but which is to say that I am unwilling to relinquish my gaze into nothingness long enough to assent to your realness. The real possibility is that no one is real. I will not abandon the ecstasy of self-destruction to play act like you’re always doing.

“J’en ai marre de your theatrics. Your acting’s a drag.”

Today the first photo of a supermassive black hole was published. Or was it? What if we dreamed the whole thing up? What if we hope to see distant singularities only because we don’t want to see the one we’re falling into?

I will not tell you my pronouns
because what you really want to know
are your own pronouns.

“How common.”

Dani

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