Sunday Jul 14

JoshuaJenniferEspinoza Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. She has been featured in The Offing, PEN America, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere; in addition, she was awarded a Pushcart Prize for her poem I DREAM OF HORSES EATING COPS. Her full-length collection THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS was recently published by Civil Coping Mechanisms. She tweets about being sad and queer on her twitter account @sadqueer4life.


Mornings with you
   covered in firm sun
light driving down
   the coast of our arms
   the ocean of space &
rolling skies to find us
     here, where
   we house each other

where we glimpse in &
dream we love the
           though sleep itself
is the nightmare
of being only one

though tomorrow is the
you in this scenario

         & never is the me
     in this case

we house each other

& you kiss me regardless
   of death
           or whatever.


i tell you everything
you need to know
about me.
there was the god time
and the desert time
and the kiss myself
for days to stay alive time.
i tell you not to worry
about my name.
we haven’t arrived there yet.
some time passes and
i tell you to close
your eyes and listen.
i don’t say anything.
i say this is what i
am called by everyone.
you say woman void
and i laugh.
that’s right.
that’s me.
beautiful empty sky
searching for a planet
to wrap myself around.
something i can bring
to life.
a dream that isn’t
boring and filled with
pointless shit.
a place for us to
be silent and love in.


first of all, i hate the phrase ‘boy mode’—
it suggests the way one appears
defines who one is—and yes, a shallow
reading of materialism might suggest
this as being the case, but that doesn’t take
into account how one interacts
with the world, how one’s socialization
within gender might conflict with
one’s outward appearance, how this
disparity might affect one’s mental,
emotional, and psychological well-being
as one drags one’s body through
each and every merciless hour—
this is all to say that today i woke up
and needed to go to the bank
to deposit a check, and in order to avoid
the conflict that might emerge from
handing the teller an ID with a picture
and a name that no longer match the
person i am i made the decision to
throw on a pair of jeans and a loose
hoodie and no makeup and a dead
spirit that might help me to pass for
something resembling a man—so i dissociate
and leave my body just before i get into
my car and i pretend i’m in a movie
watching the other cars in the street driving
under trees while to here knows when
plays loudly through the speakers
as my soundtrack and when i
finally reach the bank i do my best to drop
my voice but i do not hide my pink nail
polish, nor the way i walk, nor the
way i stand, nor the way i am smaller
and softer and gentler than
everything around me—and this is not
to say that womanhood is smallness,
but that my particular womanhood at
least partially emerges from a refusal, no,
an inability to perform all those things
that signify masculinity in this world—
so when i am finished i ask for twenty
dollars cash back and i drive down the
street to the grocery store and buy a case
of beer and a bottle of wine, taking
advantage of the fact that i am briefly,
momentarily trapped in an outer vessel
that matches the image and the words
on the piece of plastic i carry around
to prove i exist—and yet how can i exist
when i am not really what it says or shows,
and how can i be so fluidly this thing,
this body, this woman, this shadow
colliding with shadows of trees and cars
and clouds and other people’s shadows,
buying beer at a grocery store at ten
in the morning while trying to maintain
eye contact with the cashier as she hands
me my receipt and tells me to have
                                                 a nice day.