by Caitlin McKenzie
They touch my shoulder lightly in the kitchen, their shadow is blue and glowing. They want me to take a break from my wine soaked arguements with Dysphoria.
They ask me the question I still cannot answer, but from beneath sparse eyelashes that sit like clearings in the forest. They beckon me to sit close to them.
My mouth opens as if by instinct, a birth canal.
“My gender is body hair cultivated until there are small charming swamps all over my body. I’ll hang signs that read, “enter only with invitation and reverance.”
My gender is lilac running shoes and the promise of my small feel kicking up dust in the gravel. My gender is the grit that stays on passerbys tonges.
My gender is hair cut short to draw focus to my round fat face. Make me a stop sign. People see, pause, and then carry on.
My gender is bright lipstick without cover up, extenuate the blood running just beneath my skin. My gender is alive.
My gender is pink milk glass shattered on concrete, sharp and beautiful and glittering.
My gender is grenadine and gin with lemon.
My gender is dipped in mercury, reflecting the sun and the moon respectively.”
What I speak leaves me heaving, sweaty, and smiling. Euphoria cradles my damp head in their hands and tells me they adore the world I’ve created. I hold the blood and gore gently in my hands, then place it in the cradle I’ve always had inside my chest.
Caitlin McKenzie (she/they) is a queer neurodivergant poet and collage artist based out of Barrie, ON. Her work can be seen in publications such as Pink Plastic House Magazine, The Northern Appeal, Aurora Mag, and Acta Victoriana. You can find more of her work at her own tiny Instagram zine @therememberingroom.
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