Perched in a Bengal sun and a world full of binaries,
a spirit seeks validation in begging, yet there’s no Wikipedia
article about what she’s pleading for.
Retorting gazes that burn him with disgust are surprisingly united.
Some take the shape of his parents, some Youtube comments,
some are even his own image that still has makeup and
dried up blood.
A cinema-hall full of people laugh at iridescent jokes doled out
that hurt like a train, even more than when the officer-in-charge
asked her to strip down because there was a bulge
in her pants. Lying down in the training camp’s hard cot,
she remembers an equally deranged afternoon when
her dad had taught her that there were only
men and women in this world with the neatness of a
Five years ago, a man thought transforming into a woman
would finally make him whole, so he borrowed another man’s
writings from a hundred years back that told stories of a woman
who wanted to be a man. Later that year, the man was
surrounded by a thousand eyes as his body slowly entered the
crematorium. His soul, however, was burned an eon back.
When the news spreads, the Virginia sun is still busy painting the sky
with the color of an egg yolk; the familiarity of both is not lost to those
who read the stories of Greek heroes slaying mythical monsters. Only these monsters
were danger close, even closer than the uncle who slid his hands
inside the guy’s pants because he wasn’t like other boys.
The incinerator slowly burned all the flesh, and people enjoyed it with a couple of beers;
For there were only ones and zeroes in this world, and one-ones and zero-zeroes
were thrown out of heaven.
Illustration by Alex Williamson.