How To Love Someone Without A Gender, A Manual In Four Parts.

Artwork by Vaijayanthi

Part 1: You love them without a body.
They is an entity,
They wrap themselves around myself
And I touch their every curve and crevice,
Plunge myself into their cracked spirit and touch them
Where I’d want to be touched.
Kama comes bodiless and swift
(…Much like me in bed);
Yet it is always she that I see,

Bodied, certain, rigid, yet fluid, my doubts to relieve,

And me, I am as visible as I believe.

And invisible when I am nothingness,
As perhaps the world wishes me to be.
Part 1: You love them without a body.

Part 2: You are the object.
She comes and asks me who I am
Asks me to grip harder.
When the moon is unreachable
I push myself into the breachable
Her eyes feel my insides and suddenly
I am nobody.
I am nothing that matters
Nobody insignificant.
my desire is entire.
My love is above
All these contracts of rough
And the ragged is all I am.
Part 2 – you become the object.

Part 3: you love yourself.
They say it for fun
They know it hurts, but say it anyway
“He” likes attention,
“He” is the butterfly stuck to the wall
The flower without nectar
And “he”
“He he he he he”
The laughter drowns out the breath, held;
I smile, correct them. Ask to be called “they”

Every time I smile, I remember the abuses entertained,
I remember the warmth of that day
That day once long ago
When she called me and said she needed me,
And I was hers since then, forevermore.
Each time you call me a man, a boy, a son, a sir,
I lose myself in the depths of the darkest days
And I can’t love anymore, again. I can’t.
Because I must spend that love for myself,
And I am not much, but everything at once,
A speck of stardust trying to wipe away immovable rust…
Part 3 is me, and I am such –
I am they, for I am many,
and my love doesn’t need your touch (but wants it).

I am the zenith of your imagination,
And I had to learn to say “I” again.
They told me it’s selfish of me, and I had to learn to say it…once more.
To love myself, I remember the resentment, the guilt and the fear,
I remember that my penis is not me,
My throat can be musical, as it can be deep.
That within this dysphoria,
I can craft my own Utopia,
And love will forever be, mine.
Part 3 – you love yourself.

Part 4: And this is the hardest when you love. You listen.
She taught me this. I always used to say, “I can listen. I can listen.”
She told me of when she used to be the master, of her home,
When Kama rushes into my soul,
I can’t hold myself. I relate and converse
She tells me she loves purple,
I say, “Oh! That’s my favorite color!”
Tells me she used to dream up fantasies, and was a dreamy child,
I said, “Hey that sounds like me!”
She tells me of a stream, abuses entertained, and I say “Me too!”
says there’s nothing as tasty as cold water on a summer afternoon, and I say “How true!”
Every sentence must be relatable, every word must deal with me. Empathy, empathy
That’s everything I should be.
But in order to see, to truly truly see
I needed to listen, to listen to her, and listen to me
Know that abuse isn’t the same for us all
That different pain is felt differently,
That we’re humans, to be queer is to be different
To standout from the crowd is to form a crowd of misfits and strangers who see all that’s invisible
And when she could see me…
She could, she really could
When she could see me when no one else did…
My penis doesn’t matter,
Nor my beard, or body;
All that mattered was to listen.
To histories whispered to me, telling me who I am and was, when I seemed to most forget.
Listen to her as she tells me her fears
Feel the sweat form on my brow as her horrors become my own…
And listen to her voice when she called me “They”…
Witness her correct every soul who passes my way
And for once, I can be anything.
And feeling is believing.

To learn, to listen.

Listen, listen to the unheard voices and finally
Listen to her
When she tells me she loves me.

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