Queer Earth, Jess X Snow
“Sexual expression is only permitted between male and female. Anything else is an abnormality and against nature.”
You speak of nature as if you
invented it. Or gutted it & used
it's bones to fashion a white castle,
to keep you safe from all the animals
you refuse to see.
Tonight, each grain of soil, each blade
of grass, each droplet of blood
is a time machine. Each cell
rewinds you four & a half billion
years back in history. We were once
genderless cells splitting our own bodies
in two–now growing gills,
fins and feet. 65,000 queer
& trans species.
It’s always mating season
on planet Earth: look
at the way leopard slugs
make love: upside down
from trees–two penises coiling
into orchids. A penetration
so mutual–it is worthy
Look at the way bonobo monkeys
resolve conflict: queer polyamorous sex
in the morning, evening and afternoon.
Look at the penguins mating for life,
warming the egg of another mother
with the heat between their bellies.
When an oyster produces a perfect pearl:
they transition from male to female.
For crustaceans, gender is a border
that does not exist. Do you hear
the orchestra of dolphins? Masturbating
against the seabed, penetrating
eachother's blow holes, as if this human
history never began. If our love defies
the logic of your biology,
then what is queer pleasure if not
heavenly? Is this queer ocean
not the tidal waves roaring
within your bloodstream?
Is this queer Earth not the same
carbon that birthed your flesh?
To be queer, Earth, and alive
is to be hunted & marked wild.
A beast banished from heaven,
a bleached coral reef, a jungle clear-cut,
a planet domesticated like cattle, and butchered
in the hands of machines.
Yet, our queerness is an ancient
persistence. So tell me:
we be against nature.
& our bones will remember –
we’ve been queer
for 3.6 billion springs,
summers, falls & winters.
& even after
your infant empire
collapses into dust,
we will still be queer.
JESS X SNOW is a queer Asian-American muralist, filmmaker and poet. Her poetry has taken her to stages such as TEDx CUNY, the US Institute for Peace, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. You can watch, Migration Is Natural, the animation she made with Adobe 1324 here.