Zoe Hitzel earned her MA in Creative Writing studying poetry at Northern Arizona University, and nabbed her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at Oregon State University. When not writing, she drums, tinkers with bicycles, plays online video games, and keeps a blog of her transgender experience, zenoted.wordpress.com. Her work has appeared in entropy, pacificREVIEW, The Chariton Review, and elsewhere.
Gender Dysphoria versus the February Skyline
You’ve noticed breath can pass unnoticed
if the time’s that good. Some hearts get to
eat time. Your heart forgets to forget it’s still waiting
for a better bridge or twelfth story
to present itself and invite you
to sway and mean it. You weigh less
when you fall though your mass hasn’t changed.
For years you weathered the accusations
of your body at and against your body
for being your body and not the other body
that just didn’t happen, dead channel static
swelling to envelop the sensate.
You think of your cells—are they not your cells?
Your molecules, what is their problem.
You consider death like a pill, one more
panacea or poultice to smear
until ailments evaporate, leave you
relieved, nevermind your dwindling electric.
It’s not that you can’t leave bed, it’s whether
you leave bed or not, nothing changes.
You’re just less disgusted than usual in sleep.
Waking kills everyone eventually.
What a catclaw is despair.
A hook in the heart, helmet of barnacles
calcified. Some wicked bulb
sprouts through the temples and grasps.
There’s nothing you haven’t considered
until a dream where the grayscale city wakes
and crushes people you love in its concrete
teeth. It takes.
A heartbeat to go from perch to flight,
a breath to go from flight to fall,
a surface from soar and splat.
What a wrist, gripped and latticed.
What a spine, to wish for wings.