THIS IS WHERE GROWING UP
stopped. This is after the dog bite from Wrigley who lived next door, after the conversation with mom in the cold basement, & after she cried over the girl she thought I was. This is after trips to different countries, too scared to try the new foods because of allergic reactions & sensitive skin. This is after my grandfather left & I forgot his name for two years because no one would say it. This is after my grandmother admitted that she wishes for death sometimes. This is before I met the love who I then lost. This is before gender & poetry. This is a trip to Turkey in 2007, This is the first time I think about death & how it could happen if I wanted it to. A wave crashes on the shore, a woman screams, or laughs.
I write my eulogy on the ceiling of my bedroom so I never have the impulse to look up. Cremation is forbidden but where else would I go? No darkness from the ground will put me to rest. Allah lütfen let me lift this body to the moon. The skyscrapers poke holes into the night & before I close my eyes. Before it's time to leave I sit up under the covers & remember that no one wants me today. I turn the sun off; she leaves without trying to convince me otherwise. Allah, how do I grow now?
HOW DO I SIT AT HOME
& worry when Blue doesn't return? Do I bite my nails or read Bluets or eat a bagel or go on Tinder or plant some fresh things to kill or learn a new language to impress new women or adopt a pet rabbit or pick up my old guitar or write a poem with no form : purpose / sensitivity — clarity or find a window to break or travel to a body of water that hasn't felt me inside of it yet or drive astolen car without a license or call my mom to talk about the news or watch the ceiling until the cracks break open? There should be more here, I know, but Blue could never end things with me, either — will never leave or stop the overflow. Who do I have now to complain about the/my body, where nothing fits as it should and never will? There is a box of letters waiting to be burned but all my flame is left between floorboards of an old apartment with too many windows.
beyza ozer is a queer/trans/Muslim writer living in Chicago. beyza's work has appeared in & is forthcoming from The Offing, Pinwheel, Vinyl, Nightblock, Witchcraft Magazine, Shabby Doll House, & the anthology SUBJECT TO CHANGE: TRANS POETRY & CONVERSATION (Sibling Rivalry Press 2017). beyza is the author of FAIL BETTER (fog machine 2017) & I DON'T MEAN TO REDSHIFT(Maudlin House 2016). They are deputy director of social media at YesYes Books. beyza works at The Poetry Foundation.