୨୧ perception of romance. i think of manhood in a romantic sense like you would watching deer from afar. i think they are sensory seeking, strange things. watching how lost they all are. in whatever their father built, in whatever his father left. in whatever they were pushed and pinned in. like a dog you raise to be musuclar and protective, train to sit and speak, and be very, very, very quiet. a dog that will bite and fuck if you don't discipline. like if you muzzled it, you could manhandle, slip your fingers over their structure, and curl them, like fitting the corpse of a buck into a small coffin, in a bathtub, under a bed, inside a cupboard. slumped down, on the ground, body soft and weak, i think it is like watching something from the windowsill.
and in sensory seeking, their tongues pushing and fingers grasping like a baby, i don't think they ever grow out of infancy, like the soft flesh of christ being thrown into the cold pews of a great and terrible sainthood, its walls cold and endless structure, hard and bastardized steeple. men bury their heads, nuzzling and whimpering for warmth and comfort and safety and sainthood, desperate and ugly. stupid desperate creatures.
in gender, i feel estranged from masculinity. guess i wouldn't identify a certain way at all, when i am just some broken thing, in a girl body. i wanted manhood for a while, to be loved by a man in being seen as one. for me, manhood was the space in between your navel and pubic bone, where the belt goes, or where the waistband of boxers sit. in the way the transversus abdominus wraps your core like a hug, in the way your forearms bristle.
romantically, i hold men like you would baby birds, stupid and needy, or domestic guard dogs who bare their teeth, snarling. i want to neuter men, and take them out back and put them down. i want to hold their faces, fingers soft and feeling the skin and curve of their faces, and the shape of their jaws, until they fall asleep, like hypnosis. i only love men like a euthanization, like digging a grave in winter graveyard dirt in the dark.
in every man is the small wound over their sternum, where the soft fleshy ugly little boy they once were was, crying out and dying in him. he can only build himself a body so much, can only raise his arms to his face, can only scream, his brow furrowing, his forehead pressed on the cold steel, until he's just small and purposeless again. i can only hold and kiss men like fawns, small and hiding, pressing their faces against skin, desperate for sensation, for salvation.
i can only watch his throat bob as he swallows the christening of his body.
i can see his lips hanging open, his body unwell, shaking and trembling, like he's feeling god enter him.
the way he shudders when he's smacked in the face, when he recoils, his nose smashing into blood, his muscles thundering in adrenaline. watching him become gentle, docile, his body soft and unrefined, his face flushing with blood, his neck craning, face pushing into my flesh, like he wants to return to any womb, like he can squeeze himself into any soft organ that'll hold him. is this the grave you wish to return to? is this your heaven? his face soft and peaceful in my lap, push back his hair, thumb his brow and forehead, the muscles of his face relaxed, his eyes far away. the rest of his body curled up around the back of me, head curled against my stomach, torso and legs wrapped up behind me. watch him raise his hands defensively as he's struck, watch his brow furrow, is what manhood is, to protect, not inflict.
watch him become infected, smashed into carpet stains. watch him return to the earth. watch him gauze his cheek, try and smile through the blood running down his teeth, try and squint to see through his black eye. i tell him his body is like a mausoleum, i can press my fingers in the slots of his ribs, feel at his soft lamb wool spooling out from his entrails, feel at the walking wound a man is.
could you hold me just for a moment? like hot dirt in summer thunderstorms, like cold ocean swells, like a confession booth, like a cradle of snow lightning, like a lantern, like a crypt.
i love like a cream colored house, paint peeling, lace curtains fluttering in soft 2006 air, like fuzzy white mold, kisses like the darkness of a closet, violated and enshrined in permanent abandonment. i think my body will always feel like terror has been embroidered into all of my parts. i think when you're in me, you can feel that terror too, and it infects you, seeping in your veins, careening up in your throat and over your brow, and it hurts, to feel me. i am weak, and empty, and dumb. and you're something real, something plastered and smacked into the drywall, something solid, weighty, something that can hold me down, keep me from turning back into a mattress, so you can fish me out of the dumpster, pump my tiny puppy heart back to life, you can cradle me in your brachioradialis, let my tiny head rest there for a moment, and you can hold my battered body, veins all erupting under my skin like popping open lanternflies. shepherd me.
i'll sink my teeth into the muscle of you shoulder and neck, tear you open. take me into the department store, bright lights and linoleum, red carpet and expensive clothes, pillars and perfume. and you'll take me to the dressing room and hold me while i sink to the floor, sobbing and begging you to help me, because i can feel it all again, and you'll press your lips against my head, feel my skin burning up, my pulse throbbing in desperation. but i don't know that i'm not dying again and you don't know if you're strong enough to hold me, but you want to be.
the intensity of your sainthood, the composition of your muscles and organs, the erection of your body's life, made to be a good dog, made to bite down and stutter the life out of some soft thing, the shiver that runs down your back and in your stomach, the blood sprayed around your lips and nose, i'll wipe it off with a soft rag, humming to your burning brain, feverish with moments of weakness tearing open your ragged bones, your breath shuddering, cold air smothering your words. it's all muffled and underwater, and your eyes close, brow creased in frustration.
i love you, please hold me. please drink the terror in me, and let it die in your wake.