TRANS IS NOT YOUR CONVENIENT MYSTERY By Hafsa Musa

TRANS IS NOT YOUR CONVENIENT MYSTERY

breaking down bodies and body’s parts
into amalgams you can’t wait to understand

you are building an image of me my mouth defies
black-bone gut against the whitened intrusion of
dictionary definitions and hospital waiting rooms

i am waiting for someone to ask me
not what i am
but who i will be.

trust that i am an ancient power.
rocking the earth in circles
i am the moon in flux
shedding my skin for leather jackets and snakeskin shoes

i am the chalkboard
carving selfhood
into your thick schoolboy skull

i am lights fluorescent and flickering
waxing and waning into horrible flame

i am the wind singing sailors into brokenness
i. am.

beyond this body?
this body is beyond your feeble understanding
of what it means to mean
so let me tell you, ma’am,
that i am nothing you have seen before

i am not defined by petty things like height and hair
judge me by my character, the steel of my brow and the sneer of my hips
know me by the way i say you don’t know me
when you ask what a dirty girl like me is doing out so late.

you cannot break down this body
and serve it up like so many plates
because i am not pieces and i am not a whole
but i am holy holy holy goddammit
i don’t need your god to speak for me
this flesh knows its maker
and it’s me.

(you cannot break down this body.
you cannot break the unbreakable.)

By Hafsa Musa

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