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letter to my precious body

this letter was written for and presented at the ‘Taking Up Space’ exhibition produced by Bo Bickmore and Variation Three. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have contributed.

listen to the audio here.


I don’t suppose I’ve really earned this, but I hope you feel like I’m on the way. I’m trying, I’m throwing everything I can at this, doing my best with what I’ve got, what I know. 

I hate that we have to talk like this, as though we’re separated, mind from body. It is my sincerest wish that we can truly connect to each other, before we take this next big commitment.

I hate that we have to talk like this, back here to this. I know I semi-said it’d never happen again. I’d say I’m sorry now but I don’t want to continue the cycle of abuse. I don’t want to pretend at repentance when we both know it won’t come true. I’ve been thinking of other ways forward, good habits to replace the bad ones needing breaking, but I cannot think of another workaround besides paying you in exposure.

I’ve done you wrong and I’ll do it again. We hurt the ones we love the most right? And I do love you. It’s just that I love you the way I was taught to love and that’s the problem, that’s the wound site. I know that you know this, you were there, but I need to say it. That love to me as a child was to be starved, was to be thought strange, was to be ignored, was to be rolled out before waiting crowds to be cooed over and clutched at. “Such an old soul” they used to say in a greedy awe. It felt like I had to earn attention, and unless I was working for it, no-one thought about me if I wasn’t there to be thought of. So I loved you with what scraps I had left, with alienation, divorce of flesh and spirit, and strip you bare naked at every artistic suggestion in a visual scream of “see me” to anyone whose eyes might listen.

How can I be so sorry, but also not regret it at all?

To have an appetite was to be anxious. So I suppressed both. To get tattoos was to feel searing  pain safely. So I got fifteen of them. Everything that distracted me from what you needed, I did. Everything that would sedate you from your needs I found a way to. To pierce, to stretch, to dye, to pull, to let anyone have you in whatever way they wanted, no matter how much it hurt, invaded, tore, infected, sickened.  

I want you to know that I’m learning to love differently now, and I want you to feel safe in knowing that the impacts will find their way to you. To slowly filling breasts, to swiftly shrinking testes, to lighter hair on the body, to stronger hair on the head, to tougher nails, thinner skin, glowing all over generated from within. There’ll be growth and breath, nourishment of food, tender attendance of creams and sunscreens, vitamins and water, water, water. I love you.

There will be pains to endure and I’ll be there with you, holding my own hand. Razors and lasers, scissors and stitches, needles. All for the flourishing of what it means to at long last be in sync, be symbiotic. There can be no pleasure without pain, as it takes one to fully appreciate the other; we have learned this lesson like many others: the hard way. And we will do what we have always done through these lessons, heal, heal, heal. I love you.

We have a map to make, a path to burn to make ways clear for those crossing ours. It’s time I stopped running from becoming a mother. I want to earn the trust of generations searching for their heritage, their culture, their queer parental, familial energies. I want to beacon brightly, give them something to look forward to. I want to show them that there is so much joy, romance, power and privilege in their bodies. I need you, my precious body, to endure, I need you to draw the eye, I need you to transport, to communicate, to fuck, fuck, fuck and make love, love love. I love you.

Remember when we did that life drawing at GayTimes and we spread like birthing for a caring artist named Paul? We said then “get at me before the scalpels do”. What a wonderful time spent just being as born. No augmentations, only a few chemical adjustments. Cuddling in a crowd with a naked boy named Rhys modeling for his first time, I’ll treasure being there to care for him in that moment for a long, long time if not forever. Remember when we went down to Sunnyside with Teague & Michael, just three intimate friends nude in each other’s company sharing fresh salads and future ambitions? Swimming, floating, sunning every bit of skin until it burned, burned, burned. I love you.

Your mechanics amaze me. How our abilities serve so many purposes through nights and days. I’ve even come to appreciate the important, foul-smelling, truth-telling ways you waste. How blood flows, tears well, cum foams, saliva drools, nails protrude, hair tangles, and lashes fulfill wishes. How you can be so vulnerable, so exhibited, and yet feel completely armored, secret even. We are so so destructible, slayable, and yet we face the world ever fearlessly, barely. I will protect you. I will share you. I will love you.

And I will always love you.

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