“I have slipped in and out of pronouns as if this body was a fitting room. The lighting isn’t right here, and each curve of my body is a segment that, deep down, I’d like to carve out, but she is all I’m left with—”
They Does Not Fit Like a Thundershirt Should by Nicole Oquendo
I have written at length about the pronouns wolf/wulf—
trust that I am better suited to gnaw
at the raw flesh of another animal
than to wear the femme (yes, this is a whole other language).
He, no, and not for lack of trying. I have slipped
in and out of pronouns as if this body was a fitting room.
The lighting isn’t right here, and each curve of my body
is a segment that, deep down, I’d like to carve out, but she
is all I’m left with—not because the sound is right, but because that’s
all my ears have heard for over thirty years:
She is this,
She is that.
My hair is too long. The body I inhabit is neither here nor
—not the right body; I am missing so much—
there. This binary is a rotten egg
we are too afraid to crack open
for fear of what is inside churning.
Nicole Oquendo serves as an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications and has most recently volunteered as a special features editor for The Florida Review. They are also the editor of the forthcoming Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities anthology. Their essays and poetry can be found in CutBank, DIAGRAM, fillingStation, Gulf Stream, and The Southeast Review, among others. They are also the author of five chapbooks, including the most recent, Space Baby: Episodes I-III, as well as the hybrid memoir Telomeres.