(Nekeivah) נְקֵבָה: Her Paths
The rabbis wrote her down as just an opening. Something meant to take and take. Mother of giving. Holy profit of nurturing and softness. It will be rare to hear her mentioned in our story.
Let’s be clear. Nekeivah doesn’t translate to anatomy. To men who wrote down qualities centuries ago. We all know the inaccuracies of their essays. Of the ways they viewed organs.
Nekeivah doesn’t translate to genitalia. Nekeivah doesn’t translate to binary. Nekeivah doesn’t translate to a body crafted for someone else. Nekeivah translates to your second grade teacher
who kept giving you harder books to read. Your dog who will lay on your chest when you’re crying.Your mother who taught you how to fry latkes. Your mother who taught you how to be
kind and brave and honest. The succulents that bloom in even the harshest of deserts. Nekeivah translates to, even when she is pushed down into the dirt. She’ll spit it back at you and make you
apologize. Nekeivah translates to, they will paint themselves, as the most gorgeous chorus of sunset and cactus. Even if the coyotes laugh in their face.
אנדרוגינו (Androgynos): A Human Being Unto Itself
Walk outside with crushed flower petals in your mouth. The air will taste like pollen. Wear a baggy t-shirt over your dress. This is in case dysphoria bears its teeth. You are both nothing and everything. Maybe that doesn’t make logical sense. You’re here because a rock grew. Then moss grew on it. Then frogs galloped in the water that had pooled in its eyes. That doesn’t make much sense either. Quote the Talmud to prove you’re real. Or don’t. Pray in front of the people, who refuse to believe you. Or don’t. You’re not here to justify, your heartbeat to anyone. You are crushed flower petals. You are what a Rabbi scrawled on paper. You are the air that dares to breath. Maybe you’re not holy. Was it ever about achieving holiness? Was it ever about G*d loving you? Or was it just about finding meaning, in the moss they left in your palms?
Jasper Hardin is a poet of many identities who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They competed in the 2018 Rustbelt Competition. They are the author of the self-published chapbook I Could Be A Galaxy. They founded a literary journal dedicated to non-speaking and semi-speaking disabled writers and visual artists called Explicit Literary Journal. They have work published in The Mighty, Rising Phoenix Review, What Are Birds and Runestone. Jasper is the co-creator of the one act play “The Golems Protect Themselves”, which made its debut at Final Frontier Festival. They wholeheartedly believe that dragons are real.