Thursday, August 23, 2012


I did not choose this otherness
I did not choose isolation or
the fear
of leaving the house
unshaven and without my face
I did not choose this otherness, this
life apart, of complexities
and complications
I never chose anxiety
over which public restroom to use, nor
to be a target
just for walking in daylight
I did not choose this otherness
any more than to have two hands
or to be 5 foot 6
or to have curly hair
I choose only to be myself
Let others be shamed by their sameness, their lack of courage
I did not choose this otherness
but I will accept it with
wide open hands.
The brothers in olive have
wrapped you in your own anger
You smother there
For whom?

this morning

We shared a pint of
giant blackberries
stained our fingers with
Blackberry blood--
a sweet memory from
our first meeting
and now I sit in my
yellow chair
reading your Hammad
my fingertips still red.

*poet Suheir Hammad

Sunday, August 19, 2012

By way of my contribution to the "I need feminism because..." meme circulating on Facebook:

I need feminism because
people think it's ok to suggest that:
(a) I've sacrificed status, and
(b) I shouldn't be surprised or upset when people
regard me as a joke because I'm transgendered.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Some intruders
come with hammers and torches
Knocking down walls, throwing
books to the pyre
Others come full of
only good intentions, with
Ziploc bags full of
sage for burning.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Cleaning The Refrigerator

Cleaning the refrigerator
in the country house
Is like some perverse exercise
in something the opposite of archeology;
In yellow rubber gloves and with
Lysol cloths
I erase the ketchupy finger prints
of a brother-in-law, 4 years past,
some short black hairs from Spikeword,
the German shepard who shared my wife's bed,
2 years before me
and crayon marks from my 3 year old niece
(who's now nearly 17).
"Powerful Cleaner- No Bleach Harshness" reads the blue and white canister, but
what it fails to warn me of
are the myriad other ways
in which
the harshness of a clean refrigerator
might be felt.