this morning as i was catching up on chimamandagate i found myself feeling a ton of gratitude to trans, gender nonconforming and nonbinary people who have stayed with me through my unlearning process,
through my misgendering them, trying to argue grammar (even though in nearly every other instance i dismiss grammar rules and all other rules),
through my defensive reactions (“but half my lovers are trans/gnc i couldn’t be transphobic”),
through my feelings of scarcity around my womanhood and women’s spaces,
through delicate/scary conversations around transracial vs transgender journeys,
through my unrequested advice or protection,
through my absence when support was needed.
through my fascination and curiosity,
through my putting them on pedestals,
through my forgetting them in spaces where they needed inclusion and/or centering.
and through my fumbling love.

i wish i could say each of these lessons took me hours to learn, but some of it has taken days, weeks, years – sometimes i never made it back to thank the teachers of specific lessons, especially the ones that were hard.

and i am still unlearning.

and i am still grateful.

the news pile

each day is a pile
sliver sliver stacked against
diminishing time to know anything at all

even while we celebrate what we want
buried in the sound of our dreaming
are two deaths, or forty nine
#names we will learn later

when i hear the news beginning
i turn towards it
and then i turn away

ah but it finds me.

i double over inside
i go numb with details
maybe i gather some angry words
burn leaves to the black moon

often i go quiet against the
reading and reading
and finding no comfort rhythm
of the pile

we come together and don’t know what to say
we notice the unspeakable
we bristle, we pause
and then mostly we are kind with each other,
opening brief portals of joy
or production

no one wants to know this alone
so we speak around it, acting brave
to be the ones who look,
better than the ones who can’t look away

but we know worse than that
someone still wants this to happen
it’s too comprehensive to be accidental
across so much time

we feel the gathering weight

our mouths are full of sweet things
and then empty again
we cry until even our tears are sugar
and our faces hardly move

but grieving is not enough
we must also be warriors
whose weapon is our heart
expanding, billowing out
to hold it all

another pound
another pound of #tragic
and there’s nothing to say
and no air to speak it
under the pile
the fucking pile

– #korryngaines #skyemockabee #joycequaweay #blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter