Cockeyed: A Poem about Confronting Transphobia

  Art by Duna Haller

Art by Duna Haller

Cockeyed

 

I walk bowlegged onto the tiled floor

careful not to break the ice

that separates me from this body

of water.

 

I am naked, save for a

pair of panties that match my skin.

He looks at me crooked;

the way a hunter looks

at a doe with antlers.

 

An animal stares back. &

He know I can't be in here but

at first He doesn’t know

why. My body is cockeyed. Almost

perpendicular to the blue

tile. My breasts point out of me. I am

the color of buckskin.

Hottentot Venus.

 

“You can't be in here”

 

Torcido/a

 

Camino arqueada por el suelo de baldosas

con cuidado de no romper el hielo

que me separa de este cuerpo

de agua.

Estoy desnuda, salvo por un

par de bragas que combinan con mi piel.

Él me mira encorvado;

de la forma en que mira un cazador

a una antílope con cuernos.

 

Un animal le devuelve la mirada. &

Él sabe que no puedo estar aquí pero

al principio Él no sabe

por qué. Mi cuerpo está torcido/maldito*

Mis tetas apuntan hacia fuera de mí misma. Soy

del color del ante.

La Venus Hotentote.

 

"Tú no puedes estar aquí"

cockeyed 2.jpg

 

Walking

like a deer across

the tile floor into

the pool

with less people in

 

My skin colored underwear

sinking away into

the murmuring

like cold water

 

“You can’t be in here”

 

 

Caminando

como un ciervo a través

del piso de baldosas hacia

la piscina

con menos gente dentro

 

Mi ropa interior del color de la piel

hundiéndose en

el murmullo

como agua fría


"Tú no puedes estar aquí"

cockeyed 3.jpg

But

this water offers resolve.

—Touches every part of my body

& does not flinch. In this pool with

other men I taste the womb I

sprang from.

 

I stand upright.

Transphobia dribbles

from moustached

lips like blood behind me

& I walk straight

through the icy tiles

& through the door

into water.

Pero

este agua me ofrece un propósito

--Toca cada parte de mi cuerpo

y no retrocede. En esta piscina con

otros hombres pruebo el útero que

brotó de mí.

 

Me quedo quieta.

La transfobia gotea

de bigotudos

labios como sangre detrás de mí

Y camino recta

a través de los azulejos de hielo

& a través de la puerta

hacia dentro del agua


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Image descriptions:

A series of three collages, arranged on parchment-colored paper.  The text of the poem, in English, is cut up and spaced across each page, filling up the area. Behind the poem appear images, mostly drawings of women cut from comic books. Only the first collage features photos of people at the start, then trails into comic book characters. A swirl of pink frames two opposite corners. The second collage also has a lot of pink, as well as purple; an illustration of a barren tree appears on the left, and a silhouette of a curvy figure is on the right, filled in with twinkling stars in the night sky. The final collage is orange at the top, features a Black woman's face, has more images of the starry sky person with trees, and concludes with an orca whale leaping from the water.


About Jamie Grace Alexander:

Jamie Grace Alexander (they/she) is an emerging Baltimore artist who works mainly in poetry. Finding themself in a web of intersectional identity they try to find resolution through their art. You might also know her through her activism with The Baltimore Transgender Alliance, or her curatorial work @gendermuseum.

 

About Duna Haller:

Duna Haller is a poet, musician and collagist from Spain. Her art is shaped by her Dissociative Identity Disorder and her trauma survivorhood, as well as is part of her healing process.  

A non binary trans girl in constant survival, she has done art since she was a child and she always tries to make her art and activism as accessible and collaborative as possible.