Nine previous books of poetry and a memoir of gender transition does not a life make, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. Dr. Joy Ladin, take that National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and Fulbright Scholarship to the rocker on the back porch and take a long deserved nap. Tireless Ladin currently holds the Gottesman Chair in English at New York’s Yeshiva University.
Deep in the gendered restaurant, wild genders sing.
The gendered waitress gushes over carrot soup with garlic.
Sturdily gendered middle-aged men
shift in sturdy leather-backed chairs, generously gendered women
smile gorgeously gendered smiles
as though wild genders weren’t singing
like coyotes in the distance.
Wild animals make a forest of every situation,
even animals like us who pretend we’re domesticated,
sit up straight in gendered restaurants,
sweating among sweating water glasses.
Draped in domesticating binary folds,
the wild skin of gender
radiates hunger, loneliness, desire.
Our legs are the roots of gender’s forest,
our trunks its trunks,
our crotches its crotches,
our humanity the wildest animal of all
hunting among its branches.
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