Monstering

Disabled Women and Nonbinary People Celebrating Monsterhood

the fall

i am defeated by a cat's yawn
by the first long cold breath of morning stealing
     through the gap under the window-pane
by your blueness of eyes

i who swallowed the stars whole & felt them burning
     down the gaping maw of my throat only to suffer & spit
     into nothingness in the quench of my belly
i who drank the black of the night
     like wine, ocean-dark, & sour like old memories or
     the taste of sweat on your skin
i who held the moon in the palm of my hand
     & pulled the tides around me like a long cloak, the hem trailing
     foam & bird-feathers & the distant crashing of waves
     still barely audible beneath my cowl

i held another name:
a powerful invocation
whose syllables could wrap around the globe
& sink venom into the vocabularies of sinners
     & priests
     & starving poets
     & small children looking for beetles in city gutters
          but finding only my name tucked into the earth
          written in veins of glowing ore
a name so vast & heavy upon the tongue
that it would take a year's rotation of an unkind star
to utter in its entirety…
     i have forgotten it now. that name was too large, too uncanny,
     too thunder-&-lightning. i left it behind me.
you knew my name, i think, but you did not know that it was mine,
or of the ancient power that you had robbed me of
to wield, unknowing

i hid my scales from you
& blunted my fangs on the curve of your hipbone
     exchanging wings for wheels, relearning flight
         wanting only to drown in the hot crunch of your laugh
          steadying myself against the muscle of your thigh
          your hand on my brow, trailing through hair like seaweed
     sinking slowly into half-remembered darknesses…

i was no longer the eater of worlds
my soul was quiet, & full, & very small
     i had borrowed it from a bird (which explains
     my fondness for pumpkin-seeds) & the soles of my feet bled only rarely
     glass splinters & shards of obsidian working themselves out of my body
to the beating of my blood  
all loved up

had my blood been quieter
i might have noticed before the wound reopened
your heart leaving me through scar tissue, well-worn grooves, the gouges
     where my wings had withered into black ash
     upon contact with an alien atmosphere
heart falling from my throat, i sank into gravedirt
     touching my hand to my mouth & then
     to my heart again & again

listening & hearing softness in the space between breaths
     knowing defeat in every inch of me & in my core a longing
    for lost heartbeats          & yet knowing one day there will be

      the reflection of moonlight on rushing water &
     birdsong

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image shows a white genderqueer wheelchair user with rainbow hair reading into a microphone.

Image shows a white genderqueer wheelchair user with rainbow hair reading into a microphone.

ROBIN M EAMES is a queercrip poet and historian living on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. Their work has been published in CorditeMeanjinOverlandUncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, and Deaf Poets Society, among others. They are currently working on a PhD at the University of Sydney examining madness and trans pathologisation.