Monstering

Disabled Women and Nonbinary People Celebrating Monsterhood

Women's Pool

Leg angle the hard crease between the thigh bone and the pelvic region as she talks her legs kick out she talks and kicks and the water waves between her and me there is someone fine steel snakes in the water my head aside in the night

Listen to us the wind sing lights above the pools stars out the plow opens the angle water smooth as we pick against the concrete edge smudge ourselves into the fluid at midnight hot water in our ear and we listen

Hands talk with us around and through a circle across the water and the story grows and we plunge in our fingers plunge and the water opens in an angle talk our job my lover the mother and winter in Michigan and the fear sky all angles and the folds of our skin

So this is the argument I say wax and flesh and how to mould faces in the wax that runs through my fingers and my hand swirls as I stir in hot water feet out in the fluid story and someone leaves the pool and someone vanishes, and we talk of the death mask 

Tissue paper folds out of her story dead lives loved old film reels of fire clouds the legal struggles around the right to die they brought him back again and again then he married and still he said 'you should have let me die'

that reminds us to turn and we lie in the water on our back and look at the star fire fluid in our midnight ear my head aside we kick and we listen to the sing in our heads in the wind and the skin wrinkles in the water

Turn over the page my hand floats me over turn in the water at midnight in the pool water of a hot spring near the cool stars all alone she and I write our stories in the water our bodies at angles and turn and listen and turn to the dark in the star fire

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A large white woman in a wheelchair in a dark theatre, short-shorn grey hair, glasses, primary color clothes, with a poetry manuscript in her hand, looking at the camera.

A large white woman in a wheelchair in a dark theatre, short-shorn grey hair, glasses, primary color clothes, with a poetry manuscript in her hand, looking at the camera.

PETRA KUPPERS is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist. She is a Professor at the University of Michigan, and she teaches on the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts at Goddard College. Her most recent poetry collection is PearlStitch (2016). Stories have appeared in Drunken Boat, The Sycamore Review, PodCastle, Future Fire, Capricious, Wordgathering, and Accessing the Future: A Disability-Themed Anthology of Speculative Fiction. Her Studying Disability Arts and Culture: An Introduction (2014) offers practical exercises for classrooms and studios. She is the Artistic Director of The Olimpias disability culture collective. She lives in Ypsilanti with her collaborator, Stephanie Heit.