I find myself drawn to women in sales
Only interested in high voices, manicured hands
I find myself only interested in women
To be a woman
Wanting to be with women
Only trusting of women
Cool songs of a woman
I hold onto life with women
I crawl into women’s laps and rest
And find comfort there beyond an outside
That doesn’t have the loose affection for a dream
I will believe a woman when she tells me to lie down
I believe myself
My womanhood has no context within the world
My body is felt by epitomizing stereotype
I can’t be understood
I have no say on gender
My face like a boy’s, dark eyes, brow
I am trying to form a tight group that understands
That sacrifices each of ourselves for a collective
Where I can cut off my breasts
And use them to feed myself for centuries
WAKING MOMENTS II
I only care because I am so pretty right now. My cheek-bones defined by the night. I pretend to read. I have no interest in anything other than in how powerful I look. I am beautiful, don’t you think? I am powerful in a way you want to possess. Tell me, man, you have so little. I am sorry to dispose of you. But not really because I already know anything worth knowing about you.
Say your prayers fucker oh yes because I am delicious. Who? Great, hey. Let me look at you with my small brown eyes. I will eat you with my bottom half. Feels good doesn’t it? I am too consumed in getting myself off. Yeah daddy. Yes daddy, fill my chest. You have no surprises. That’s why I like you. A little masturbation. A little death. Yummy daddy.
WAKING MOMENTS XV
I was reincarnated from a woman who died in 1930 Ireland from typhoid who was the doppelganger of my grandmother. My reincarnate’s soul was in purgatory until she entered the embryo in my mother’s body when visiting Denmark on vacation. She rejected my father’s sperm for any worth in its DNA and made herself into a protein.
Nine months later I was born and my reincarnate smiled through me and said, “I will watch over you always.” Being raised by Catholic parents, I knew that I was protected by a guardian angel but really the shadow that followed me was infused inside my being, as my reincarnate spread herself over my insides and taught me things like how to know which way was north, and how to bake bread without a recipe.
I would look at myself in the mirror and see her instead of myself, and she would see a bird, because that was her reincarnate. On days when she did not like my behavior, a sense of shame so deep would swallow me, and I would lose her as she left my body and went elsewhere, and I was no longer reincarnate, but autonomous without reason.
In my dreams, I would remember flight, and visualize myself, as me, but not quite, a bastardized image of my grandmother, who was not my grandmother, but the doppelganger of my grandmother, spreading out her arms and no longer feeling the ground.
In the daytime, my reincarnate would become paranoid of the modern sounds. She would force me from my seat to walk the halls of my elementary school or force me to stay in the bathroom for inordinate amounts of time. My doppelganger wasn’t educated and couldn’t help me to learn to read or do math. She helped me with everything, and learning without her was difficult.
On weekends I would sit with my sister, who was also reincarnate, from a lesbian farmer who was murdered during the Dustbowl, in the backyard of our house, and we would both trace our fingers through the mud and pick flowers. A hawk lived in the tree above our house. A pine.
I was the first human incarnate the doppelganger had hosted, and at times she would be displeased with me, and punish me by making me feel things that children are not supposed to feel and adults around me would pat my back as I cried for hours. My doppelganger incarnate would become disgusted, and leave my body to float across the backyard and down miles and miles over the creeks that spread over our town. And her ears would prick when she no longer could hear my sobs, stopping in the murky, low waters, her feet wet, she would – as a burnt scent – absorb into my body through scratches or my nose.
Katie Ebbitt is a Social Worker and Poet living in New York City. You can find more information on her chapbook Another Life here.