flat little box. you were thin enough that maybe—not a whole lot could fit inside. you were familiar enough that maybe—i knew all there was to know about you. whirring, humming, warm little piece of responsibility. cold little piece of cash lost. glowing little piece of sleep deprivation. the relationship we have is complicated. our statuses are public but my feelings about you are private. torrid, hauntingly delicious secrets that you and i share about the truths in my mind? those are password protected.
when i was broken i climbed inside you and discovered a world where i could cry, but no one would hear me unless i hit record. i melted into your nooks and crannies and collected in a glistening pool of confusion and eager anticipation at the feet of your greatest master—the internet.
who am i when i’m alone in my room with millions of people? what does my face look like when the only person who can see it is my mind? what is my name when i are free to choose the way my breath sounds, the direction of my steps, the words others use to describe me?
i took a moment, to create myself. i took a moment to ask my body what my brain should do. i took a second to question all the shit i had been told—about my life. about my words. about my gender.
and then i stepped onto a platform that was open on all sides. i rooted my feet into a ground that wasn’t sold. from where i stood—i paged through hours of their bodies. i scanned over days of their thoughts and absorbed weeks of their insecurities and strengths. i took a bite out of something dirty. something your grandmother told you would fill your mouth with soap and your soul with the devil—and when it bit me back, i discovered i could use the drops of blood from my tongue to paint a picture of myself that looked more like me than my reflection. and is tasted good.
and then i saw that all the others had done the same. and that our blood had fallen in patterns and colors we could never have predicted. and they were me but they were nothing like me. i felt the vibrations when their fingers hit the keyboard in the very core of my body—in a dark, wet, place where creation meets conception and desire is the title of purity. what am i? a shapeless gray face passing judgment and begging for connection behind a dim lit screen in the corner of my bedroom? am i a jilted academic turning my face to a room full of hopefuls and signing my name under the truths that other people have written with the ink of their own inspiration? or am i a small figure in the upper left hand corner of a page, tearing open my chest and spilling my answers into a box filled with my questions. mixing them up with a quivering hand and declaring there is no way to tell the difference. lies are the truth—and sometimes it’s way more fun to stay aware in the darkness of that tunnel than it is to follow the light.
i don’t want things to make sense. my queer body. my queer being. that beautiful, horrible, bloody handprint on the fitted sheet. understanding the blur as it’s own unique brand of clarity. watching yourself, creating yourself, tasting yourself get carried away into your own mind where there is no such thing as veracity or falsehood. speckled with fantasy, littered with reality. don’t i crave deceit? or was that authenticity? only you and i know the names i call myself—along with the rest of the world.