When you say “androgynous” I hear

bits of masculinity:

I feel more real this way.

Do I miss the flowing hair?

A veces … the high ponytails

and free forehead.

When I dress more “masculinely,”

when I embody that “ethos”

I flow out of some societal lens,

into some truth

that maybe the earth does have “feminine energy” —

astrology teaches it and lesbians believe it —

but I am a Capricorn and I am content

being grounded in brown boots

and only Earth below.

When we say masculinity belongs to

one group only

what does that say to the rest of us?

Dressing like I am not just

a pretty fucking flower…

it is so liberating

and yet one big fat nada:

it’s all I’ve wanted to be,

want to be,

and have been,

all along.

 

March 27, 2019

 

Also, check out this cool video on two folks’ definitions of identifying as non-binary versus androgynous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsJUDFmauCI

 

 

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Sun

You are a star in a sky I have not seen,

you are a drop of rain in a hundred deserts

and desserts

because walking in the rain can be fun

with ice cream and an umbrella, no?

Your voice plants bits of light under my skin,

your slender frame and well-styled hair

have me wanting more.

You are some kind of fire that speaks

the same language as my Earth– the one

with floating flowers and talking sponges,

the one where Reggie Rocket gets us in trouble

and girls kiss girls at midnight in brightly lit squares

and everything is alright.

Because I’d want to call you baby.

Because, hell yeah, I’d make love to you and I’d fuck you

but do you seriously think I could do one without the other?

You’ve got me smiling ear to ear, wanting more of your story,

your moments, your rush because I know you’ve felt it, too–

with some lucky woman in another room,

where you lit only candles and talked in only whispers.

I would never be quiet about you, unless you wanted me to.

And I can sing your praises now, my mysterious friend,

but you deserve more than words. They do not do you justice.

To your sexy eyes and smooth skin, your laugh bouncing off

subway cars and driveways and street lamps– I wish I could

dance along with it forever, and I’d be willing to,

if it meant having you.

I put you up on a pedestal because that’s where you belong.

Your style is bad ass and your humbleness is hot and your words

have me wanting more, more…because for all your physicality,

I could listen to you speak, no sight, no vision, for days.

You are a star and a sun

because, of course, there was never any difference.

Expect that there is only one sun,

among many stars,

and how lucky I am to get to soak you in at all.

 

January 29, 2019

My Body, My Choice

Vinny chats me up as one can do in 8th grade

(as boys can do in 8th grade), and says,

“Girls look better with their hair down.”

 

10th grade:

Allie tells me over pizza in a torn up, faux leather booth:

“People think you’re really pretty.”

 

“Take the bait,” they whisper.

“We are you.”

Your face, your words,

your worth:

we hold them in our hands.

 

I grew fragile.

 

“Not to mention you’re beautiful,”

a text from Devin I saved on my phone for 2 years,

a reminder that if I kept this up,

I could be loved.

“You’re special,” they said.

“Your precise,” they reminded.

“Keep it up.”

I never heard them clearly;

it was always muffled in my ears.

 

Confidence was for the battlefield,

and without cleats on my feet

and a soccer ball underneath

I depended, fully,

on this

damn

face.

 

Middle school:

Vinny was saying he “saw my potential”

and in that moment he pointed a finger at a moon

I did not know — that lights up the sky day and night.

With each step forward from that statement came promise,

like one day my body would, miraculously, lift off the ground and fly.

 

High school: I worked, observed, learned to follow the rules.

I made friends. I chased boys (or at least followed the chasers).

I saw a twinkle form in my eyes like the sun hitting my face

and I felt something grow: confidence big enough to sew a sweater.

That confidence was soft and warm and humble,

each stitch a modest color, so I put it on:

oh, the comfort…the ease.

 

What sweater?

This is my skin, clear as day.

I don’t need all of these words–

they’re woven into my Long Island DNA

and somewhere…somewhere…I seized it.

 

College: I was prepared!

My sweater was woven!

My charm was rooted!

Soccer, friends, face.

 

And then, college happened.

And it was full of devils,

people a mere sweater cannot take on

you want — comfort?

We’ll beat you.

You want — friendship?

We’ll desert you.

You think you’ve got talent?

We’ll show you.

Bam               bam              bam.

My skin faded, my body ached,

and what can a person do but blame what is left?

 

Wisdom swims through my veins.

Nana has her Jesus

and I have my Julia de Burgos

and that’s quite alright with me.

I build a new ship to freedom…

something you cannot wear, but ride–

invisible on all sides, impenetrable,

so much so that my world forgets the words

“break” and “fear” and “fall,”

that Kenny’s story can be his own.

that Marlena’s antagonism can be her own,

and that I can feel the wisdom in me,

the quiet confidence that does not need

a coach to tell me my worth.

 

I just play.

 

December 22, 2018

To Men Who Take But Don’t Give

You’ve taught me:

it’s hard

to love yourself

when you give yourself up

like meat for slaughter

when you’re taught

you are not an animal,

you are the meat;

you are a hole to be filled

and wiped clean afterwards;

you are the microphone

through which he speaks.

 

Even before I fuck you

I’ll remember my name,

part of the heavens you’ve never seen,

let alone touched.

 

Leave me alone to write, without you.

 

Your gaze makes me too tired to speak.

 

This is my time to breathe,

not your time to sink me down with you.

You’re 4 months into America

and you think you can laugh at our president?

Tell me what street to take?

 

Sex led me to you?

 

Is that what we did?

No.

 

You cannot touch

what you cannot see–

your heart is nowhere on this table,

on this bed. Your ego lifts you

(to make up for your small dick).

 

Am I right?

Do you believe in “right”?

Me neither.

But I do believe in justice.

 

What do you believe in?

 

December 6, 2018

Rebel

Lets celebrate
the gift that has been lent to me–
let us remember
that thought is unnecessary unless there is a problem…and there is no problem here.

The curves and edges of elbows and shoulders and thighs and necks
swooped over the sides of balconies,
either wishing for a way out or a way into
this life, this body, this mind and energy granted to us from some source unknown
and yet completely home;

let us celebrate the pleasure of being in it, of stomping up and down stairs when we are mad,
of walking away from a first kiss, drifting,
of eating a warm flaky croissant, of feeling
the fat roll around my insides as my heart grow outwards, reminding me to celebrate the choice
to observe, to take in,
to learn about what is worth thinking about, challenging, questioning — and what is worth knowing to be truth
and nothing more.

Celebrate your womanhood.
To be a woman
and to pleasure in it…
that is rebellion.

January 21, 2018

at the ocean

my intention,

my desire,

my secret wish

is to simplify life.

 

many men

have tried It;

we heard about it.

 

It didn’t work.

 

many women

have tried It;

we didn’t hear about it.

 

(proof enough) It didn’t work.

 

we searched for It

in churches and mosques,

temples and tall, gray shopping malls.

 

we listened for It

at TED talks, college lecture halls

and sports stadiums with 80,000 seats.

 

when fate

grants you power,

what do you do with It?

 

men decided to seek It only in themselves,

simplicity and peace and glory

owned by one hand, one heart, one tear.

 

I ask: where does the tear come from?

Where does the water come from?

I’ll start by listening there.

 

March 18, 2016.

after the game

when

all

I

want

to do

is scream

about the patriarchy

but I know I’d just

perpetuate

a stereotype

what am I supposed to do

when I score a goal on you

and you act like I’m a tree

whose branch luckily swayed

in the right direction

what am I supposed to do

when I tackle you

as well as some dude

but my lack of maleness

makes you stutter

I’m not sorry

that girls can do

what you can do;

I am not sorry

that, sometimes,

we do it better, too.

 

I am 24 years old,

playing a game I love

more than men

for 20 and have been playing

with them, side by side,

for the same.

 

I’ve always loved being the underdog.

 

but why can’t you

just put your head down like you do

when your friend nails a freakin maradona

these things are not so hard to do

when we treat this sport like a drug

admit that it’s mine, too;

that just because your body

can lift 200 pounds doesn’t mean

mine can’t kick your ass

with a soccer ball

that’s all I want:

the chance to come to a game,

ponytail in tow,

and still feel like I belong

to something that was here

long before I called it my own,

long before I learned

that girls aren’t supposed to do

what boys do.

 

all the friends and teams,

games and sprains, fields

and nails to the head,

bruised knees and toes,

championships and titles later

 

and these guys still insist

I need to prove myself.

 

I am not a tree

standing in the wind.

 

I am a woman–

and a pretty damn good soccer player.

 

March 4, 2016