Esme and Zami

Esme and Zami are siamese twins
Esme, the temperament of water, fell in love with whirlwinds:

The secrecy held in the world beneath the ocean.
After admiring the girl in the reflection she dove in

Living far beneath the surface, returning for fireflies in summer
Sometimes just to listen to the city’s rooftop raindrop drummers.

Zami, the temperament of fire, her blood runs close to her skin
At the bald of her hands and feet feel the rush of cold sin.

One night she awoke breathless, off her body cold sweat dripping
She ran out of space and slowly the walls crept in.

Anxious for air and with fervor in her muscles
Leaping for the night, scaling over walls and fences, Esme became bionical.

Esme and Zami are siamese twins
No overnight miracle of a mischievous nymph.

There was time for a breath between days for a hush
And defeat to soak itself at the root of a purpose.

Hear it escape in a wail, a laboring sigh to playful fantasies
Masked in the ringlets of an occasional lover’s kisses.

Zami was leaping over water over two nights
Stopping to rest, finding shade from the moon light

Under the thick yellow of a poui tree in bloom
Catching breath, crouching to her knees, smelling Esme’s perfume.

Blue moss, wild strawberries decorated her
The dancing Esme muses on stories told by her mother.

Tightly closing her eyes, she keeps the music to herself
Repeating the words in a lullaby.

Her mossy blue arms reach for no one
But the gentle caress of the ocean.

Zami bemused, came closer to the moon
Caught by Esme’s mystery about her lips, about her blue nakedness.

She found pleasures so much so she had forgotten
About walls and fences to scale, but found comfort in this harbinger.

Finally she held her breath and dipped her head in.
Surprised Esme, but not afraid she smiled and began to sing

Tal vez amor
Tal vez tu debes mi amor

Saber como nadar
Saber como nadar

Antes de hundir
Tu cabeza en mi agua.

Esme and Zami, they are siamese twins
Joined to the heart and mind ever since

Zami found shade from the moonlight
Under the blooming poui tree one night.

Letting go of the tree branches
Letting go of her fences

She relaxed and extended her arms
Looking up to face the moon shining

She pushed her chest out to embrace
The currents.  To kiss the waves.

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Maybe She Just Didn’t Wanna Dance With You Dude

discoball in Japan
Image via Wikipedia

Well thank goodness for dat, cause I woulda been confused
being as it’s a queer disco ball spinning its bacchanal lights tonight
shiny confetti glimpses of why you’re here, staring right back at me
from across the room.

Did you find my gaze entertaining?
One to test out but never wake up to, cause you’re so sure
you don’t want what society prescribes, and yet you’re here
with us, where poverty procures a so call lesser being.
You wait for him.

I’ve become your novelty of sorts, I’ve become your snicker
with your friends in a corner, watching me to see me
build up the gumption, waiting for the right song to cheer me on.

Did it make you feel wanted?
Most beautiful of all?  When I didn’t ask for your name
your number, who you’d like to fuck on a regular
I didn’t ask for your life, I asked you to dance.

Fludity and Queerdom Ends at Marriage and Your first born: The Falsehoods of Bisexuality

I wear my swagger wrong, I swear it on my body
and cross my legs too feminine, I’m too fooled to know
when I’m too masculine for the ladies
while I squat and spit, squirt like the rest of them
they look at me weird while I’m with them but they don’t know
the extent of my story, waiting in line to pee so desperately.

For the women looking out, and telling me it’s the ladies, I bleed just like you
I invite you to see my red blood stains and be reminded that not every fruit is the same

and for the ones who find just fucking around is good enough until marriage
well, maybe you should date guys who are into fetishes. Because isn’t that what you want, a fish with meat?

Too many times fludity is just a masquerade waiting for a Jane Austen man

Galloping on his horse from a distance
Ooh darling you can give me your feminist queer theory all day long
while all that is queer about you is late like last night’s dream
and all that is feminist about you is just by being a woman

talk to me baby when you can’t cling to your safety status quo image: white, the pretty that is expected to be adored, and, when you realize how forced to love you are like the rest of them.

Continuum

Bisexual is a term I hear
while i’m unsure of the direction
the song is going to take
but then, I’m reassured by the chorus
that i’m straight
I’m okay now

Terry, this woman that I work with, she’s a dyke
button down shirt and tie, slacks, polished black shoes dyke
now i don’t have a problem with the gays
it’s just that Terry’s girlfriend looks just like me
pumps, pencil skirts, manicured nails, lipstick, pearl necklace
I wasn’t expecting this, it’s like a song with a familiar beginning
you know, something you can bob your head to, you know
and then all of a sudden it changes, and i’m unsure of the direction
the song is going to take…  So I hold on for the chorus, for some kind of refrain:
i’m straight, i’m okay now.

she’s a dyke
button down
shirt and tie
slacks, polished
black shoes, dyke

a song with a familiar beginning
you know, something you can
bob your head to, you know

her woman looks
just like me
i wasn’t expecting
pumps
pencil skirt
manicured nails
lipstick, pearl necklace

I wasn’t expecting this bridge
this change in melody
irregular, I pause for the chorus
for some kind of refrain…

I am straight
I am, okay now

Bisexual is a term I listen to

Bathroom Incident #5

It happened again. I went to the bathroom at my job, and this woman who I’ve seen around the office for as long as I’ve been working at this organization (5 years), questioned my place in the women’s bathroom. I’m quite sure that today wasn’t the first time that she’s seen me around, and even though the organization has been growing rapidly, and yes there’s always a new face every week, you would have to try really hard not to notice me for five years.

Anyway, bathroom incident #5 occured today at 10:00am.  I was combing my afro as she was coming in the bathroom, and she did a double take, to make sure that she was in the correct bathroom, then satisfied that yes, it is indeed the women’s bathroom, she asked, “Are you sure you are in the right place?” I was pretty much expecting her to say something after she did a double take, so I asked her, “Are you sure, you’re in the right place?” No response.

Mind you, there’s probably less than 40 people on my floor and the bathrooms are not open to the public. If you’re a visitor, you’d have to go through the receptionist first to even gain access into any of the offices. Basically, it’s very unlikely that I was a confused stranger using the bathrooms. And again, I have been working at this organization for 5 years. I’ve seen this woman around and she has seen me.

Bathroom Incident # 4 occurred last week Monday.  This guy, who I’m 100% certain has seen me around, because we’ve been on the elevator together, I’ve said hello to him and he has said hello to me. So really when I was walking into the women’s, and he was like, “That’s the women’s bathroom,” twice, he doesn’t have an excuse (at this point no one does) because he heard my voice, and quite frankly you’re just a complete dumbass if you’re still confused about my sex/gender after listening to my voice. You would be at least cautious of making any judgments aloud, and thus making a fool of yourself.

Bathroom Incident # 3 occurred in 2005.  The following remark was made when I entered the bathroom, “Now I know why this bathroom feels so masculine,” she said looking straight at me. There aren’t any urinals in the women’s bathroom at my job.  The lighting is state of the art in the bathroom.  However, it’s very cool in the women’s bathroom at my job, and at times “feels” to me pretty sterile. So maybe that was her reasoning behind those words, because I really don’t see how me using the women’s bathroom has suddenly changed the “feel” of it. Under my buttoned down skirt, I have breasts, and beneath my slacks and my underwear, is my pussy.

Bathroom Incident # 2 occurred in 2004. “This is the women’s bathroom. You’re in the women’s bathroom.” I said, “Do you want to come in here with me to check, to make sure?” No response.

Bathroom Incident # 1 occurred in 2003. Combatively, she said over and over again, “You are in the wrong place… You should know better than to use the women’s bathroom. You’re in the wrong place.” I was in complete shock, I didn’t know what to say to her, because I had only been working at the job for at most 3 months.

I work for a successful non-profit arts organization. Even though the workforce is fairly large for a non-profit, it’s not like a big conglomerate where you don’t know (at least by face) a fellow employee. You’d see each other on the elevator, at parties, at all staff meetings, etc. And since, I’ve been working there for the length of time mentioned above, I’m deeply disturbed and disappointed by all of this. Like everyone working full-time, I spend nearly all of my life at this job, and so I should never have to feel this way every time I use the bathroom.  No one should feel like this.

I’ve written about this issue before.  And I’m sure I’ll be writing about it again.

About Chameleon Grace

Chameleon Grace is a novel that I’ve been working on for quite sometime. I figured if I just put it out there that I’d finally finish it. At the very least, it isn’t just collecting dust on my hard drive anymore. Here’s a little background:

Now transitioning into a new life in New York City, twenty-six year old Njeri Ironside finds herself at a crossroads. As she battles with isolation and displacement, she begins to question her purpose in the city. Her ruminations lead her to memories of her past, growing up in Trinidad, particularly during the period when the country was experiencing dire socio-economic and cultural change. It was a time where her father, a beloved trade unionist, prominent political figure, is at the center of controversy.

Her memories are however clouded by a desire for revenge against an ex-lover, Pieta.

With the lost of Pieta and the community she created in D.C., Njeri is left not knowing where she really belongs, and at times incapable of reconnecting the pieces from the subgroups she had previously niched out for herself in D.C.: black/masculine/woman/Caribbean/dyke/lesbian/working class in the Americas.

Dedicated to my mother.

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