Mason J.


For the cunts that no cat-caller could colonize.
— Mason J.

villanelle for the violence trans people are supposed to accept

trans bodies huddled around a trough
filling up on rancid media representation
presented as something other than slop
artfully asked to take what we can get
injection, integration, ablation, and castration
trans bodies huddled around a trough
misgendering morsels served on both ally and bigots stale baguette
eating piled plate upon plate of political purgations
presented as something other than slop
patiently waiting for butchers who expect us not to inspect
swill and corn-fed assimilation
trans bodies huddled around a trough
are they ready to slaughter yet?
do they fear starvation?
presented as something other than slop
mass media manipulated mindsets
meaty medical and mental misrepresentations
trans bodies huddled around a trough
presented as something other than slop

The best time to seed queer fruits is late August to late September

last fall I tended to the orchards in their cunt for ninety days
became a cyclone spreader of intimacy, drop spreading tool of passion
and together we tugged at the roots of one another
leaning against young trees of connection we lapped up juices
both mango lassi and fermented guava

the fire in us could've scorched the whole crop
but the mists of romance kept us cool
their watermelon mouth and my clementine stem arms
dripping nectar from ashy plum elbow to grapefruit nail lunula

a type of liberation that only comes from two queer brown-sugar bodies
meeting in the middle row to harvest
despite dysphoria, distress, and diasporic disasters
in spite of the floods that would soon split us like pomegranates.

On walking with women of color who stare at their feet when they’re alone

Head — For coupled decades in two separate centuries, I stood with a slouch
my hunched spine so calcified no amount of therapy or assistive devices could uncoil the outside world’s attempts at social wiring.
It took 25 years til biohacking helped me stand upright.
Though the truth is my bad posturing wasn’t easily corrected as it wasn’t birthed from genetics, accident, or degeneration my frame was bent from the injury of impersonating a woman.

Shoulders — This is for the bent bodies of women of color from mi peliroja prima to my Pepsi skinned Senegalese play sistas
for the cunts that no cat-caller could colonize
mamis who sleep in silk headscarves
mijitas with glowing Jesus portraits swirling above their beds
This is an ode to your orbital hips coiled hair full eyebrows and sideburns your bellies and thighs stretch marks and acne scars
tough girls who smell of gummy cherries, Henny, pink lotion [baby & hair], palo santo and sage it is for you my other selves my former selves I stand the tallest today
eyes alert, head high, and birdlike chest out
fists balled to slug and any man who dares to get too close to either of us.

Knees — For years I tried to find the balance between the two spirits in me but as tender souls tend to be I was fool hearted and the gaze of men was intense enough to fold me like a table napkin.
From the time I was old enough to lose my baby teeth men felt compelled to aggressively pursue me (though these days the concrete they used to corner me on now divides our masculinity) women with compulsions to scratch, rip, choke, and bite what they didn’t like
now clutch their purses when I am within eyesight.
The round the way downtown girls who jumped me in playgrounds and at bus stops want me to be their token queer friend because I am no longer one of them.
A reverse eunuch, I am the self-exiled, dearly departed female secessionist; a chaotic gender neutral —- everyone you want to go to brunch with
but no one you want to see on the street alone at night.

Toes — Today I am following whom I believe to be the first man to ever try to put his hands on me without my consent
the only weapon I am armed with is a camera so I aim the barrel at him
pausing only to notice how he is slouching
in a cruel twist of fate, I am the one with power and no longer a hunched over
this time it is he who forced to smile and I will not let him go without a fight.

Mason J.

Mason J.

Mason J. is an Artist, Oral Historian, and Activist, inspired by life as a born raised and displaced AfroLatinx San Francisco Local, Sick/Disabled Queer, Intersex, and Trans advocate. Their photos, poetry, and social commentary on Sexuality, Gender, Ableism, Race, Sex Work, and Housing Rights have been published in many a zine, all around the internet, and in print. When they are not creating or lobbing sharp commentary on social media they can be found, waiting in line at a taqueria, coating a pained limb in salve, or hogging the pinball machine at a dive bar.

Mala Forever