Grow Thicker Skin, Peel Off Bark
IF a tree falls in the forest
and no one is around to hear it,
does it make a sound?
IF someone fells a tree and they don’t talk about it,
does the tree deserve a name?
IF the forest stays silent while trees
keep getting buried without names,
how deep do the bodies go?
I wear dresses made of bark
and speak a language older
than I am allowed, people
tell me that I am grounded
this is just a statistical error
about how the deforestation
of my family that isn’t actually
my family is just a cruel joke
that no one feels comfortable
telling me now that these bones
grow rings for every tree that
never got to grow up assimilate
into forest, I mean never got
to pass into the woods, I mean
never got to erase themselves
into something swallowable.
This year, I have yet to hear
the echoes of over two hands
of trees lowering themselves
into the earth but
IF a tree falls in a forest
and no one knows it’s a tree,
do we mourn for its loss?
IF houses aren’t made out of wood
how many bodies are needed for stable
IF we never discovered fire
would we find value in the woods?
A faggot is a bundle of twigs,
but if trees don’t make a sound when they fall,
and you light a faggot on fire,
what noises do they deserve to make then?
I wear clothes made of leaves
and speak the names of fallen
trees, but if a tree is a body and
a body is stabbed or shot or some
manner of dead is brought upon
it, and the world doesn’t rally
behind it’s name like a warcry,
or the tears of a mother’s loss
then did it really even die?
IF you only see trees after
they’ve fallen, does a forest exist?
IF a forest doesn’t exist,
and neither do transgender people,
does that mean when a trans
person jumps off of a bridge
they make no sound either?
IF suicide is always accident,
and never systematic violence,
does that mean bodies falling
off of bridges are just new myth?
IF trans people are myths and
speak only in silent lies, is that
supposed to explain why
Mother earth teaches trees to
grow out of the concrete, how
to pass off a body, that is actually
a tree into deserving a name worthy
of remembering, even if it isn’t
always the right name, even if
it isn’t always a name you want
to be called to in the darkness but
IF over twenty trans bodies fall
into the forest over the course
of five months, and not even
the trees remember all of their
names, which are the trees own
names, what does the obituary say?
IF transness is silence, do trans bodies
IF transness is silence, how much
longer will there be forests?
How much longer until there
is nothing left to build a home
out of but the bodies, who
were never given the chance
to learn how to speak in a language
of their own.
IF a tree falls in the forest,
and the funeral plot is already
dug up, can we really say
that we never saw it coming?