Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Reclaimancy #19 [or, The Snake Angulating Out]

I’m allegedly always the last to know bad news.
My grandmother & sister take turns telling me about myself.
Both would end the world for me. A need for superheroes ended
when I began donning my own cape & mask. I’m a single-bound leap
from each woman in my blood. They all claim my body
but each calls a different name for what lives
around the arteries. I worry women in my family
still hold me in the fragility of boyhood I grew
gloriously. I see how they love the men around them
& I believe I desire less affection. I have learned to dress
from divas who adorned me in stage light instead of lit match.
But every woman in my bones has a specific relationship to fire,
another to rain. Each of our callings begins elemental. I seek
to answer my call branching from gulf & bayou & desert.
I desire an atmospheric home for the passages of women
emerging by riverbankshorelines with knowledge of floodwalls &
better worlds. I find my place in the formation of bound
bible genealogies in every particular order: cowgirls, sharecroppers,
school teacher, pageant queens, rocket scientists, deputy constables,
gossips, prophets, mothers, aunties, sisters, cousins, daughters &
daughter’s daughters &[         ]. I am my mother’s only one.
Still, she counts us both as her offspring. She named us both
in her womb & I tell her sorry for never being able to reproduce
such magic & hiding inside her son for so long. I tell her I kept him
alive, the way she prayed she could. I tell her she loved
me before I could fix my mouth to ask for help. I apologize
to blood, bones, & passages for years of mistrust. I carve
her a trumpet out of pearls, ready always for report.


jayy dodd is a black trans womxn, literary & performance artist, & exists across multiple dimensions. Find Jayy online here and on Twitter here.