Becoming Gaia

a liturgy to accompany transition

by Markie Burnhope


I mark my skin and toxins

mother ecosystem, gorgantuan
organism, curator of Pangea without borders
the ableism in mountain ranges

I have been rejecting you
and my celestial sisters, clusters
and auroras, glistening like prison keys

for churches: stone, steel
parishes and warehouses

I burn my former’s gestures with his genes

over kindling heaped with his abuses
his aversion to ambulance light and sirens

a moment to forget his name, the date
a catheter routinely forced inside his penis
a surgical gown tied behind his back to make

his incontinence pad visible to his visitors
(they’re making memes of disease as I write this)

I hope to align my mind with my contortions

I have listened to trees
described as bodies bending over
and dismissed these as metaphor
never pressing my palm to your rings of ages

my wheels have rolled
over bright wild flowers
who lay flat, repenting

the gender of air is not
in her stoop to help man tower
towards his cold concreteness
but
in her breath, her breaches

[stay still for a minute’s silence]

so if I wear the fire salamander’s textures

grant me safety and stealth
to slip underneath the water and my health
and find the earth, sleeping
my ears having heard not one
single messiah like her silence

I assign my signature’s eye not dots but holes

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