Valley

Lu “Ship” Everman

573 words, Poetry
Content Warnings: Body horror, menstruation

It should be impossible,
being caught between three moons as i am,
cyclic and bicyclic and tricyclic, though
i never had a binary soul, either,
never possessed a fixed point in the sky.

A new home, this strange and solid space,
regaled in fire and rock and bone,
reeking of brine, no salt to be seen.

i didn’t and wouldn’t choose it,
have made my apologies to the dust, all
shifting, softened sand,
preparing itself for needless windows.

They said i was shaped too much like god,
talked even more than Her offspring,
fertile and unashamed of it;
both of Them and of Her;
the borne and Bearer alike.

i peeked into the almost-glass to find my form, remembered Them, in Their communal wisdom, in counseled consensus, telling me neither of god’s appearance nor of god’s voice. Certainly not where god lives, but She couldn’t be here in these grooves in the sand.

i am snared to their movement,
the moon and the moon and the moon.
Does time move here, too?
i’ve never thought to ask.
Each springs their trap and i lie down
on my back in the desert
to leave my heart in nebulous offering,
staying put until the offensive piece passes through,
given to bury and twist, rambling beneath the sand
as much as i do and am and did.

When they call, i walk
in abdomen-clutched supplication,
tock by trembling tick,
a fetch step over the ground,
leaving the slough of my body as
a path of iron around fragile newborn dunes.

Not They, but they, though i suppose They mean nothing now, and that’s what They must have been afraid of, all that blood and life and glory, this non-electric lightning, my piecemeal person, Bearer/giver both.

But at times—
there again, time again—
i see you little idols,
you crude and bloody automatons,
sitting; waiting; looking to
my ever-deepening trench in the sand.

Awaiting me? No one has ever bothered to stay. i was always more curse than comfort, all the curves of me.

Such beasts you are, built of
fire and rock and bone, with your
mouths made of cardiac muscle, dragging vein-paths
through the sand like an endless umbilical charge,
your eyes all ports, clogged with silicon and scabs.

You began to follow me.
Do you remember? Can you?
The only stream here,
flowing, budding, blooming,
forged of my happenstance children and the
clotting flood of my inner workings.

Dreadful and terrible,
stealing bits and bytes of us,
those orphaned satellite widows, as vigilant
as you, my own small ignorant idols
all made of me.

So many of you now, feeding on the clast of my feet,
growing smaller, or else larger, 
size being so subjective and you being my subjects, for
you. are. mine.
you’re mine, yes, and damn the moons!—
Mine with muscle-mouthed smiles full of distorted bones;
fire where your souls should be and clocks in your heads;
sinews drip-draped like the shroud on my Bearer’s face;
skin dragged behind like the molten mantle of my giver. 

Monstrous, ugly things.
i could almost love you were
my heart not buried beneath
pillars of silken sand.

How is it so smooth when made from the shards of all us ejections? Rejections? Projections? 

i watch you mirror me, see you
all plodding along, over and around,
trudging diligent through mud,
and i wonder if you search for
our faces in the wreckage.

Lu "Ship" Everman is a stay-at-home parent, gender-neutral gentleman, and arguably human. You can find them on twitter @shiphitsthefan where they yell about various fandoms, disability rights, and queer topics. They move quickly when caffeinated.