Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 24, December 2012—Trans / Queer Issue)

Trish Salah
Baby Steps

i. Forward

We might say this is the world. We might.

When you walk around an echo, an echo follows through you

Suppose the story were that you just turned nine, and when they came for you, you had the means to flee.

Just because the language is upside down that doesn’t mean it is not speaking your name.

Near, where, your body?

Unsaid, not forgotten.

Phone crooked at neck.

I am at a loss for a sailor suit. I am at a loss for kneeling down; does saying it take you down? Does your intonation drop? Do your knees?

Placemat on the floor. My face unmade on your foot.

I could read that book over and over. I think seven years ago, I went to a woman and asked her if she could put a voice in my mouth. I did that nine years ago and nineteen.

I remember an older woman, a dominatrix who’s voice I didn’t like. I wondered if she would do the same.

Nineteen years ago there was Narcissus, sitting there. Such a big sissy.

“…fashioned, appropriated and re-engineered”

 or, in the voice of


ii. “he could not prevent himself from departing…”

Cocked against my ass,

Too, skin a smaller envelope

for her coming voice.

Holding a voice, pulling it out, your interruption, your insistence “if you have this voice, you will become some one else, you will think differently.”

Trying to remember dissociative fugue, she said “logomachia.”

“She’s actually a very good analyst.” – Me quoting me. And to be fair she was only saying it because I thought I needed to hear her say it.

But my guy, Xxx’s the real deal. Him, I’d kill for. Oh, lord.


iii. “Would you like some complementary kale chips or some cookies?”

“Thank you for your support!”

It is not uncommon within the normative logics of white supremacy to trace your Transsexuality back to ancient Greek sex changed seers, the Skopzty sect of Russia, Hijira and or Berdache. (I’m using the made up racist word because it is the made up word, and the better its racism to disclose. Except of course, catamite, how fetching you are dressed up in it. A traveling word with all that local colour. See this is the generic convention binding folkloric surveys to the autobiographical genre and the will to history. It is eurocentrism and sketchy phallogocentrism to imagine science otherwise.

How close are “the” and “she?”

A new coffee shop round the corner.

Have you kissed Lana Tisdale? I do I do.

Late submissions again. Oh, and I forgive the boys too much cause gushing,
you’re so smart.

Babydoll in boy blue

My tuffy come home to watch

(with me) a sun come up.


iv. Tuning a Body

Taking the streetcar to “the Tiresian position,” when I was helping someone move I was afraid I was helping them to my self. My shit, as it were, in boxes, which I didn’t want them to have to take on. To have. If nobody showed up, and we were stuck in your stare wearing the piano or the chesterfield. Or fork.

Walking down the street with M. and N. M. wondering at where on Avenue de Parc we were, so long since she’d lived there, and telling us the history of this Amazon who let her know she could be a woman and powerful, and screw the fools who didn’t think so.

I couldn’t help but wonder which Pandora was which… K. used to think I made up everybody’s names.

Stare like at that hopeful,

Kale dark and all sharp crisping

Names classic girlfriends knew.


v. What did you call me?

Lying in bed with your voice coming through the cellphone all the way from Prince George, between midnight dawn, more nights than not now I’m luxuriating in the focus your words give my being. I’m all ear, and mouth taking you in. Taking instruction. Like a girl I become will have a new mouth and ear. This is the funny thing. To become that girl years after becoming this woman.

I do worry that I’m a dummy, or maybe just that I’m like what I like and that I may have a different job to do now. Of course the thing I say most often is that simple:
I want you to be fucking me now.

Lark song startles twice

New bodies, or proposes

Wanting still to still.


vi. desiring assortments

Harder in those heels

To consider a niche persona,

my transient weeping.

Breathless, my practice:

Brushstroke my hair, won’t you?

Voice tilts up like yours?

Your girl thinking of

Seven things to slow thought

Smiles now, prettily.

Nails to your back

A body to make over

Over you, over.

You and your other

Sweetening the pot, chancing

What now to become?

Race horse, and bridled,

lazy with melancholy and

Left behind, loving it.

You will need to lose.

Share your body freely.

Suck up to me now.