My Gender is the Trees

M
I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime shifting back and forth between identities, trying to find some kind of gender outlook that matches how I know I feel about myself
Our language is limited and when your sense of self doesn’t match up with what’s presented to you as options, it’s so easy to feel trapped inside your own body!
Sometimes, when I’m having particularly stressful out of body experiences
I imagine what it would be like if I could merge my consciousness with the world around me
If I could touch the bark of my childhood sky tree and let its skin becomes mine
Do pine trees get goosebumps when fingers runs up their branches? 
My toes would sink first into the mulch and loam of the ground below me
And I would be sharing that space with all the ants, gnats, and worms
All the dormant seedlings that have been pushed underground for now
but will rise when they’re ready
I’ve never personally been attached to the idea that gender has to be defined by how we present our bodies
I’m not very attracted to the idea of having a body in the first place
Too soft today, not soft enough tomorrow
It’s close but never good enough
Reject the idea that our bodies are disconnected from the world around us
My knees are my knees but they can’t help but ache when the rain comes down
My arms are my arms now 
but whenever I leave these city walls
they get to pop out of their sockets and get the freedom they’ve always wanted
My head is very much *my* head but it still aches on Sundays 
trapped far away from me in a more painful place and time
Sinking my hands into the sand
I let my body burn up and dissolve
When sand is superheated, it turns into glass
Will I turn into glass under the sand? 
Will my face reflect what I’m looking for? 

About the author

Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

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By Joan Zahra Dark

Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

Get in touch

You can reach me for writing jobs, speaking engagements, consulting work and anything else at mxjoandark@gmail.com!