Caelie M Butler

a body, or seeing

when the longed-for thing is finally taken away nothing comes to replace it only a sense of disappointment and the feeling that you might like to cry if you were alone, which you are not / there is a search for blood where there will be none to your partner’s disappointment / there is a gathering of limbs and clothes from the floor / there is a lingering resentment of the imposition of a man mounting a woman when the woman is not a woman but something different and indescribable and resentful of the imposition / what is mounted by the man is a body, not that of a woman but of something different with a thing inside it which is not from the body but lives inside it, what might be called a soul but is not the soul of the body created by the man mounting it / that difference or soul did not want the imposition but took it anyway: rite of passage into the body which is not a woman but something different which is not a man / not the longed-for thing, not a vessel or a virgin, not a mother, nor a three-handed icon or a shrine or something to pin offerings on / but regretful of the imposition and the indescribable not-quite-ness and that specific difference which prevents the merging of two bodies existing in their complementary carved-out spaces the edges of which match exactly the way the man mounting what he thought to be a woman wanted


Caelie M Butler is a queer poet, anthropology graduate student, and east coast transplant living & writing in the hills of Portland, Oregon.

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