Lately, I have been struck by how radically a simple change in my body's chemical routine can affect me. A year of hormonal intervention has left this vessel sore and beautiful, as my very center of gravity shifts to accommodate the weight of this new body. How then are we supposed to continue taking bodies seriously, supposed to believe that they are inevitable, unchangeable, and, in the hands of god, ineffable? This is the real shift, I suppose. Made luminous by transexuals, but with implications for everyone else.

In the imperial core, there is a stirring around gender as we buckle under the astounding weight of our own contradictions. There is a push to enshrine the body as sentence: seventy years for bad behavior. Here, the body is a battleground, even as streets and cities become battlegrounds, the halls of high schools become battlegrounds, states become battlegrounds, doctors' offices and suburbs and gas stations and forests and courts, all battlegrounds too. Never before have we had the capacity for such freedom and instead moved toward such violence, except, perhaps, in those all epochs when we have. If the body is a battleground, then we will all be casualties soon enough.


Around Appalachia, everything feels older.

Maybe this is because everything is. The great ridges of Appalachia, those hills of tired stone which surround us, were once astounding mountains. An ancient range as great as the Sierra or Himalayas, left to crumble, eroded by a steady stream of streams, of rainfall and of snow.

Today, in many parts of Appalachia, that erosion is ushered in by capital, as mountains are guillotined for the fossilized forests they contain. Their stomachs so full of sunlight as to warrant the stripping of whole worlds. This is the economy of the place today. It is one that sustains us, even as it threatens our survival.

I am dancing through the slag of it all, my fingertips probing the stone eroding from one of its faces. I’d like to find a fossil I tell everyone. Got it into my head that I would begin my search here. I don’t know what so compels me, but I am certain that this slate and this shale would be a good place to start looking. I flirt with the idea that photographs are fossils, sunlight too turned into stone.


If I promised you a soft body, would you touch it? If I told you this body was poly, amorphous, in motion, would you believe, I mean really believe, that bodies could do that? Could reserve their touch for others, or rather, their love for a great many things? If you’re not sure, that’s ok. I’m not yet convinced either.

I have imagined my body, rotten and luminous, returning to the slag of Earth only to be uncovered some millennia from now, a discovery of minor scientific note. It must have been fat, the archeologists will tell you, see the way its knees are worn beyond its years. It is a symptom, they’ll suggest, of economy. This part of the world was once abundant. When there were still states, this one allowed the hoarding of resources but fed its people slop.

Note its bone density, they’ll say. A symptom, they’ll point to, proof of hormonal intervention just a lifetime before the issue of bone density was resolved.

In this future, they are all transgender.
A fantasy, maybe,
but mine.