Art by Zita Walker.
I try to catch my gender in my hands but it slips through my fingers. My gender spills across the floor. I take a step but find no purchase. I trip and slide on my gender. I smear my gender all over my clothes. My gender is stubborn and won’t come out in the wash.
I swim in my gender. It is everywhere. I can’t breathe; my gender closes over my head. I choke on my gender, I drown in it. My gender fills my lungs. It tastes like seaweed and old cigarette butts.
I thirst for my gender. I drink it in. My gender is life-giving. I drink too much of my gender and feel nauseous. I drink too little and I feel dizzy. My gender is carbonated.
I cut my hands on the pages of Jack Halberstam, of Audre Lorde, of Susan Stryker, and my gender beads up and stains the paper. My gender is red and hot.
My body is 60% gender. Gender wells up in my stomach, acidic, from my pores, salty, in my mouth, syrupy and wet. I kiss my lover’s neck and leave damp marks of my gender on their skin.
My gender is a limited resource. In the summer the grass turns brown and I save up my gender, letting it out only in the evening between the hours of 5 and 7. There’s a brief but violent summer storm in the morning. I don’t have an umbrella. My gender sloshes in my shoes.
“Hi ladies.” I don’t correct her. “She—I mean, they…” A man on the street calls me a dyke. “Is it Miss or Mrs?” It’s Mx. “Ladies and gentlemen…” The dreaded notes of my old name slip from someone’s mouth. They don’t notice. “It.” I am tired. My gender clings to my eyelashes.
It is dawn, and the clouds are pale pink, limned with lavender. My bare feet sink into the sand. The beach is empty.
My gender stretches out to the horizon.