Trigger warning for sexy bits:

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Bird song, bus motor, traffic.

What am I to do? Everything I taste reminds me of your cunt.

Phantom scent that catches me around a corner, imagining your press into me as I lean against a wall.

I hear you in my ears,

husky whispering dirty while you touch me, crying out as you come.

–When the only sound is bird song, bus motor, traffic:

dust, settling in the heat.

-RD

 

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trigger warning for IV drug use. take care of yerself!

We’re talking about syringes in class, the different types, their uses, the basic components: barrel, plunger, tip. I slip in and out of focus. I remember watching her cook and shoot up. She ground up the tablets first, then mixed them carefully with bottled water (Evian, like the model she could have been), put a lighter under the spoon, stirred till it all cohesed and bubbled. Maybe there was more. The shag carpet smells like the inside of a vacuum bag, like home. Aaron* ties her off and his mom comes in. “Are you using the bent spoon? Don’t burn all my nice spoons.”

He isn’t, but insists he is. Tap, tap. Tap, tap. He taps her vein until it bulges, an army drab river under alabaster pale. I can’t watch the needle piercing flesh, the flush of blood before push. Ulric reaches out and grabs my hand, as much for comfort as to break the spell. “I can’t do it either. I’d rather drink a beer, anyways,” he says.

We lay facedown on the crusty carpet. As Aaron ties off for his shot, Ulric noses over to me, puts an arm around my back, and presses his lips behind my ear. He grazes the flesh and makes for my mouth, misses. Ell sighs and my head shoots up. “How do you feel?” I ask, curious as much as wary.

“Good.” Her eyes are big, sparkly-manic, ice blue fascination. I press Ulric’s hand and get up. Aaron staunches his clumsy shot with a rag.

“C’mon, let’s go. We should get some beer,” I pretend to know exactly how we would go about it.

In the parking lot of the Safeway downtown, two twenty-something guys with greasy scalps and patchy beards sway, leering at Ell and I, clearly resenting our companions. “Twenty bucks, Black Label. All the way from Canada to your underage hands.” Ell slapps the money into an open palm.

“High alcohol content,” offers Ulric approvingly. “Like a lager.”

The beer tastes tinny and sweet, worse warm than cold, and we only drink it warm. I don’t drink more than two, more anxious to hold my own than to prove my capacity. The night air seems like enough, the novelty of roaming streets less rural than my own. 3 years ago when I moved here I thought it such a small town, but I’ve up and moved to an even smaller one, and now I can observe this town as a novelty, an adventure.

Somehow Ulric and I end up in his bed, messy limbs and malt liquor sweat. We have sex but neither of us comes. I am unconcerned, the sex is more perfunctory than interesting, at least for me. He offers to go down on me, but seems relieved when I decline. We sleep, toss and turn unfamiliarly. In the morning we go again. At least it doesn’t hurt. It’s over fast, and he’s happy to use a condom before sheepishly confessing he can’t really keep it up right now, either.

Ulric and I, we keep in touch for a while, long enough for a few phone calls, halfhearted and awkward. We meet Ell in Seattle for a show, drink malt liquor in the alley, chain smoke and make small talk, but I can’t convince myself that we are either of us interested in picking up where we left off. His mohawk is up, a foot and a half of soft brown fan dividing the scalp above his baby face. He has the chunky build of a toddler. A driver honks and calls out, “Sweet hawk!” as we share a cigarette.

He turns to face traffic and his hair lingers on my face. I touch my cheek in wonder. “It’s so soft,” I marvel. “How do you get it to stay up?”

“Egg whites, mostly. A little glue and Aquanet. It takes me two hours!” he reveals proudly. This boy who has already dropped out of high school at 15, relegated to a lifetime of work at his father’s dog grooming shop, cares that much about his own hair. Between his bondage pants, patched vest, and studded jacket, it is the one feature of his ensemble that is made from his body, an accomplishment he has both grown and crafted. He’s a nice boy, I think, momentarily tender. He catches my eye and half-grins, half-snarls. “C’mon, let’s get into the pit.”

The tiny venue can scarcely afford the band space for bodies and instruments, let alone audience members, but somehow we fall all together in sweat and stink. The bassist leans into us and is held up, then knocked into the drums, knocks over half the kit, and still they play on. It’s a good night.

I hear from Ell that he got back together with his ex and she gave him the itch**. I ask Ulric about it and he laughs. “Fuck. Well, I deserved that one, didn’t I? Stupid shit, got what was coming to me. Thinking I was so mighty with Ell and Aaron all the time.”

*all names changed

*gonorrhea, thank god for small favors

cut-off jeans

07/03/2012

My body is dangerous. My cunt could snap shut at any moment like a guillotine and take your four fingers off at the knuckle, without warning. All i’d have to say for myself would be a giggle, a burp and a whistle scoped thru my open hands. Holler back, what?

I like the work required to attain my orgasms, when we do it like this. It requires me to make myself a little bit vulnerable, even, to fit you to me. There’s always that directorial aspect–yesyesyes, up, deeper, come on. RIGHT THERE, right there, right there. Don’t stop.

No really, don’t stop. There’s more coming. And you may have to switch hands to get to it, I know. But truly, I do not give a fuck if your wrist is sore in the morning–I want all of it tonite. No, scratch that because it’s already morning, and I want my eggs scrambled, but not fertilized–I want to imagine your fist jostling my ovaries with spasms of pleasure.

oh OH OH OH FUCK! There is a well that springs when i least expect it, soaking to the crotch of my bicycle saddle and revealing that I am indeed, freshly fucked, and that the pleasure is fine. all mine. Bruised perineum, beestung lips, rosy cheeks, slippery thighs, cut-off jeans.

I am not ashamed, couldn’t even be shamed if I tried–just this once, twice, moremoremore.

one of those places we come from: south of the mason-dixon line, everything’s bigger in ____.
my aunt Carlene*, 400 pounds and mounting,  the result of polycystic ovarian syndrome (no health insurance, how could anyone have known?). hormones so altered that she grew a fine hair all over her body and a beard (waxed). didn’t know she was pregnant for months (too late), gave birth to a little boy a few months later. worked at Luby’s Cafeteria in ____ for 17 years (fired now, who knows for what?). they kept trying to promote her but she refused to work anything above cashier (must be genetic, i’ve done this). they bought her a little glass paperweight for her 15th anniversary. my mother says: i resent her because her child’s things are nicer than mine, and she’s on food stamps! as if it’s some kind of sin, to ask for what you need, and get it. to never have married (whatever for?), except common law. to work at Walmart (now, she does.). to shop there (what other choice?).
she was the only person from my mother’s family to get my mother anything more than a card with a scrawled signature for her 50th birthday: slice of cake from a nice bakery, probably more than $5. know she had to go out of her way for that.
my mother said once that she had a beautiful singing voice. i wonder what it’s like now?
as a child, one of my worst fears was getting fat. saying this aloud to my peers at 10 years old, i imagined the thunderous hams of her arms, their power to invoke ridicule and shame. but now, whenever i hear someone say her name i think, “beautiful”.

*name(s) changed

girls girls girls

03/26/2012

i miss the smell of you on my hands. the first girl i ever. cunt and cigarettes, i never wanted to wash my hands, ever again. we must have been about 14 or 15. i probably had a boyfriend, it seems like i always did at that age, but he was of no account. your face was not pretty, it was handsome. your body was broad and square but thick-hewn, rolls of tender flesh i wanted to put to my teeth (but didn’t). your voice was loud (too loud), gravelly with cigarettes, Boston, whiskey. your biceps bulged under your secret tattoo. you told me stories about your little Sicilian grandmother, Boston, your old life in a gang (i could never tell if these were made up or not).

this was before you and i stopped with the charade of “massages”, before the time you leaned over to a boy you were trying to get at and said, “i used to date girls, but i don’t, anymore. i like the cock.” looking directly at me the whole while.

i wish we had been braver. i wish i had.

i wish you would have told me how to help you come, instead of pushing away my hand with “that’s enough.” exhaustedly. “let’s go smoke,” you said.

let’s not. next time let’s stay up all night. show me how. show me how to touch you. show me how you touch yourself when no one is looking, fresh out the shower and in love with your own body, damp and clean and flushed and slick.

say please. say yes. say no. i can hear you. i am listening. just tell me.

Plan B

11/01/2011

(not-quite-true, not-quite-false)

Do you dream about her still, the way that I do?

Her red-gold hair in ringlets, those brown eyes a stark surprise above paleness and freckles, the most lasting contribution my family could have offered our child beyond the genes for addiction and manic depression.

Hard to remember, hard to forget.

Maybe today she would have been three. Past the “no! no! no!” of the Terrible Twos. Walking, talking, pulling your books from the shelves. Opening them, pretending to read. Or like you, an early reader and on to Tolkien by age nine.

You watched me sweat under the sun, break weeds loose from the tilled earth.

Flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood.

It wasn’t the right time. Maybe like falling in love, it is never the right time for a child, but the right time for loving.

I washed my hands in the shop sink after, used the scrub brush to edge out those last layers of soil embedded beneath my fingernails.

haymarket affair

10/14/2011

i have taken on the task of once a week braving book mold and dust at the local anarchist bookshop, caressing spines, straightening shelves, updating the card catalogue. the books and i are developing a close relationship through dialogue. we shoot heady phrases back and forth, pantomiming understanding, attempting to clarify our mutual ethos thru that most and least adequate form, print. my brain is still digging the passage to instant recall: “where would I find Zizek?” i wander for a few moments before the obvious. just behind your left hip–literally. i am allergic to old books and so like any vice, i of course adore them. they pile up on my shelves. i’d been meaning to take you home with me when the time was right i murmur covetously, palming some long out-of-print title. it is as circular as thrift, that one reader’s cast-off is another’s paradise lost. books have singular lives all their own, soon they will pass to other caressing or careless hands, grow dogeared and yellow with age (as some of them already have) with coffee stains and ballpoint marginalia. some bear stamps to denote they were once the property of a personal or public library, their presence here at the market as sure a symbol of parting as a certificate of divorce. who marks a book theirs, anyways? it seems like evidence of dysfunction to guard a book so jealously as to emboss your name into its ivory cover page. after all, highlighted passages shine best not when shelved but out in the open, spread for others to appreciate. but haven’t i done the same in leaner years? yes, i once entombed my volumes with that telltale idolatry of my name, so as to signify: please do not dissipate my talismans too far from the shelves where they accumulate. but i’ve grown to pass these tomes off lightly, glad to know their power as they illuminate other lives, too, rather than just my selfish own.

the lending life is short, but this affair is bound to last.

Hello, this is potentially triggering for discussion of BDSM, racism, and state violence. Take care! -RD

 

In between. Not quite girl, not quite boy. Too dark to be white, too white to be recognizable as latin@, unless we’re at church or crossing the border. “Tell us your name, miss. Where did you come here from? What for?”

Some day, we’ll paint this interaction into a scene and film it. But in my scene, the undocumented (call me sir) pins the ass of la migra, and not the other way around. I’ll spill the only water cooler for miles into the sand, make them lick it from my freshly-shined boots after a good beating. And it’ll be all thank you sir, and sir, may I? No, no you may not. If I can’t pass, then you won’t, either. I’m tired of being alienated from all sides (as many sides to this intersectionality as a rubiks cube), so I’ll take it into my own hands and then discipline you with them, both my oft-missed identities as mixed/trans/top* as well as the ways I am often misidentified as girl/dyke/submissive.

I get off on this abuse of authority, true, tho that scene is but a farce. I was born this far north, make no mistake. It’s northern latitude that has blanched my skin, more sure than my mother’s mother’s line of Wyoming ranchers and Mayflower puritans.

*okay, maybe more like switch–i’ve discovered the joys of truly bottoming since writing this.

help me unpack.

08/02/2011

“if you come help me unpack, i’ll show you my dresses! i tried so hard to be a girl!” almost hysterical with sadness while trying to bolt it down with humor. each object is a salt mine, testament to the laborious ways i tried to perform acceptable femininity: swooping necklines and painted lips, high heels and a-line skirts. all for show, but i was trying to emphasize a body i could recognize as beautiful, but not as my own.

how will i make my self fit this body, or this body fit my self? the medical industry rolls fat checks off of people like me, cutting and stitching us back together as creatures. calls us not-men, not-women. other. i am an other, sure, but it’s…so much more than that. and oh, people always want to know if i’ll get the surgery. “what fucking difference does it make to you?” i ever-always want to ask.

i began the slow drag of transition by accident. picked up another bike and followed it, but when i looked down a year later my entire body had changed, herded into sinew and taut muscle. mine, i thought, pushing my thumb into the crescent ring that underlies my navel. mine, i thought, his mouth on my cock and my hands in his hair. mine, i thought, looking into the mirror after successfully binding my chest to almost-not-noticeable for the first time.

it feels less like performance, more like living, but i’m not sure i’ll ever want to pass for any reason other than safety’s sake.

my body: small hands and big questions.

Seed bombing

05/31/2011

this morning i dreamt that i was skeining planters from every conceivable nook and cranny, spit seeds into pockets of soil so that later they might become.

it’s not so different in life, just now. seed bombing.

i roll up a whole passel of seeds into clay and toss them out so that they sprout and bear fruit where they will. or not. or their harvest be plucked by other hands, known or unknown to mine.

you’d think i meant this literally (and maybe soon, that too), but what i mean is planting connections from hand to hand, burgeoning friendships that grow in depth and breadth under anarchic ministrations as i socialize from hell to breakfast, both as far and as close as my wheels will carry me, ever the rambling communitarian.