Monday, 7 July 2014

Bootstraps (draft of a new poem)

Let’s talk about these
double-helixed through the eyelets
of the shoes that you lace up
when you go running down
these streets where you feel safe

when you go running down
the folks who say they aren’t safe
in these streets

when you go running down
the ones whose dna laced different patterns
through the eyelets of the chromosomes
you use as shorthand,

Big Bang Theory boxset scientist,
who thinks toilets marked by crosses
like a plague door are a joke
to like and share

like the experiences
the lips that suckle
at your breast,


Let’s talk about this nature:
let’s talk about the boys who bleed
each month and hate the stuff,
let’s talk about top surgery,

let’s talk about the tits that I am growing
which will never feed a child
and grant me
Mumsnet kinship,

let’s talk about the womb I’ll never shed,
the uterus that Lili Elbe died
in transplantation of,

let’s talk about the
cock which
- even clothed! –
makes me a monster,

let’s talk monstrances
and transubstantiation
because that’s the kind of
that you’re talking

how many murdered trans women of colour
can dance in the space you routinely leave out
between adjective

And if you say ‘cis is a slur!
into the weeds on the waste ground
in back of the Dairy Queen
where Zoraida Reyes’ body was discovered

does that still make a sound
like your dog whistle words
on how the revolution came to you
as a woman on the cover of a magazine

who wasn’t butch
and white
and happy to play MichFest
until challenged?

Let’s parse the
of claiming
‘gender hurts’

and ‘morally mandating’
that the care which cures the pain
should not be given;

let’s rule on who’s allowed to use
which lavatory in Heaven...

we’ve been saying since ‘11
that this maze has intersections
snaking like the laces
on our shoes you tied together
while we slept

for shits and giggles,
while you claim it’s not an issue
if we wriggle free and hurl those shoes
above the wires
while saying that we’re done...

but hey, success is not for everyone.
Let’s talk about the hard work you’ve gone
through, and all the things you had to do,
and reassure us that we’re all just like you,

as we ignore the faces
that we don’t see in this room.
Come: talk to us about the laces
in your big man’s
cis man’s
straight man’s
white man’s
safe man’s
Great Man’s


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