before I was born I was granted a rite to ceremony, but it is not enough
not when there are no more barter rings and only your ring-bearer bartering
I belong to a world that burned long before the invention of my rites
when you took the most sacred things and placed them on the fire first
now I am crawling onto the roof of your crematorium
the smoke is inscribing itself on the backs of my teeth
I am finding my distorted nationality in the fever of the fire
but do you even know what worlds you disfigured into ash?
when your back is turned I will rebuild the pyre until it overflows
but this time it will purify in the same way you purify a slur
when your crimes overlap with your cigarettes
and I want you to douse the kindling
I don’t want it to be easy to get the fire going again because
I don’t want you to pretend you held the torch for me
fall into the fire and I will show you what shadows play
with my choked words and a mouth that knows one language
lest a last name be lost to marriage rites yet again
I divide myself with a blood stained blade
a split through the middle a cut through the waistline
I am an ocean severed in perfect halves
and in the crematorium I will separate and cauterize the stump
one half will burn but the other will disappear
and fly out in the night to drink the blood of newlyweds
and steal your children out of your bodies
come on now! do not be shy! do not allow me to transgress
the sanctity of your genders and your sacred pharmacy!
come out into the water. it’s only shin deep, although
there is a serpent twining round in slow ouroborobic arcs
she has swallowed six already and he hungers for one more
magellan’s left leg jawed like a cratered moon
each tooth mark bleeding a trail that leads me to him
but I was not there to see it. I do not deny that.
look here in the ash, my healing, my cruel and newfound kindness
why would I want your mercy your sanctions your righteous law
to bless the healing you burned as witchcraft?
to suture the halves of the viscera drinker?
to make holy the genderqueer moon-eater?
to co-opt my pale winterbody, to use it against me
and against the bodies I am stepping on even now
no more occi-accidental erasure like a pearl in a clamshell
the clamshell being the mouth that pulls in smoke
the pearl being the people in it