A non-binary person walked by
                                   for Marlena Dalí

And I thought of my daughter, I mean my child. And of my breasts,
which protrude in a superfluous fashion, and of my make-up,
mask of an aging drag queen. And I felt ridiculously out-of-touch.
A woman gets tired of impersonating a woman, like keeping the
front porch clean for the drivers-by. Why not write a book instead?
Why not tattoo Fuck the Gender-Cops on your knuckles?
I asked my child what should be done with my jewelry when I die
and they said I still like jewelry, and something inside me as primitive
as putting flowers on a grave felt gratified. I can die now, I thought,
and all the ways I tried to make them conform to femininity, may they
die with me. I’m sorry, darling, that I wrapped you up in all that soft
pink fairy shit, that tulle, for your quinceañerx.

 

 

 

 

Gail Wronsky is the author, coauthor, or translator of thirteen books of poetry and prose, among them Dying for Beauty (Copper Canyon), Poems for Infidels (Red Hen), and Imperfect Pastorals (What Books). Her translation of Alicia Partnoy’s book Fuegos Florales (Flowering Fires) recently won the American Book Prize from Settlement House Press. She is currently working on an art/poetry project with chicanx artist Gronk.