a complicated gender situation

part i

first, not because it has to be heteronormative to begin, but just because the first moment should be a conception, or a near-conception, or something that was conceived without too much thought (if we are lucky, we are also conceived without too much thought)  ((lucky because the elements that burn at the moment when the chemicals begin to turn are better burnt when they are falling with gravity, gravity being the essence of the arrow in the air, falling through the sky in any direction, we are lucky if we are conceived in forgetting, because that capacity will be useful later on))  (((this is trying to sound like an alchemical treatise)))   ((((need to start over))))  it, this, first, begins when he is trying to pull out, and she screams, "no!" and holds him inside.  the walls shake and everything begins to crack open from the center of their worlds.

part ii

she didn't get pregnant, and neither did he.  this is important, because it's not about gender at all, because biology plays a role, a bigger role than i might have once suspected.  by biology i am thinking of something that's problematic, because i am not sure if i am using the right words that will make the right theorists happy with my right words, so if i say words like "problematic," it might buy me credibility when i don't deserve any.  she did not get pregnant.  neither did he.  except they both inseminated each other in some significant way, or whatever it is in its reverse, the opposite of something small inserted into something larger than itself, something that encompasses and takes in, in a way that makes for a kind of permanent haunting of the heart.  that sounded good to him, a permanent haunting of his heart, he wanted to be haunted by her.  she was a child of oya, and he had yewa for a mother, and it seemed right that they would be performing fertility rites so close to the graveyard and the grave.

he found himself, a year later, waking up, and turning to her beside him, and saying, "at its core, this is all a fertility rite, this religion is a fertility religion, every earth religion is about fertility, and that means that anything that we do to make more of our matter, we are blessed and consecrated with permission to enter the room of the forest.  and anything we do to stop matter from growing, or dying, we are faced with more problems than we could have imagined."  except, she was not beside him, because it was a year later, precisely to the day.  give or take a day or two.

he wakes up and remembers that she is not there, and he is still talking to her as if she were there, and he is not there himself, and he is talking to himself as if he were there, listening.  perhaps there could be a brother that hears him like this, and is nodding, and this is not about gender, but he really prefers the company of women to men.

without making too much of anything that's merely physical (aka, "what's the matter?"  the matter is always something for the mother, or is the mother, or we are all the mother when there is something that needs to come into the room, or we are all the father when we are drunk and feeling sorry for ourselves and our bodies are hurt from being too long in the world--ps it's never too long, we are always shorter than we think we are, just like life), there were moments when she reminded him of the brother he never had.

she was an older sister, and if he looked hard enough he might recognize that he was always drawn to older sisters, there was something magnetic there that pulled out the pubic hair filaments of the terror of seventh grade, and made the dorky masturbating teenager that we all still are feel a little better about the way the body started erupting with so many complicated liquids.  he thinks this might not be terribly healthy.  he forgets that nothing is terribly healthy or unhealthy, but only that if it moves toward life or death, it is in line with nature, and if it is toward absence or indifference, then it is difficult.

she was an older sister.  there were moments when, sometime before or after (but never during) the long elastic tango of skin trying so hard to press against itself that it might break, she would speak in a way that only older sisters do, with advice or observations that seemed so simple but took so much raw experience, that he wished he had a brother who could have spoken to him like that.  it might have helped.  it might have made this so much easier.

he does have a brother.  that's important.  and this brother does have advice, and is very sure that the old girlfriends from seventh grade are still hurting him from their perfect yards in perfect neighborhoods, and the first pain originated when the dog thought that being with two dogs at once was an interesting idea.

he, not the brother, but the one with the brother, but not the brother who is like the sister of the woman in this story so far (the one who is there in his bed like a ghost on the anniversary of something he wants to forget), did not realize how much this idea from growing up infected him, the idea that monogamy was natural and anything else was akin to murder.  it took the better part of a year to understand how much this idea had infected him, but once he saw it and where it came from, it became like the reverse of a photo on paper, the image taking itself out of the gloss, and he was left pure white and reflecting.  that is to say, in a much shorter version, he was not naturally jealous, but learned it, and he learned to be ready to learn something else.

part iii

there is a brother that is already buried, and this will bring everything together.  the loss and the grieving of everyone who comes and goes reflects back to these bones, and he thought they were gone forever, and the grieving was always already.  but that changed, and when it changed, the world started to rain, and it did not stop, because corn that should have grown a long time ago was just starting to grow, and this does have something to do with you, something to do with wanting to love you harder, because when you say harder it makes everything come true, literally and metaphorically, and in every kind of meter.  harder.

(cont'd.)

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