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by Jess X Snow

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

of bioluminescence


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.

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