When My Gender is First Named Disorder
by torrin a. greathouse
published in The Indianapolis Review
Do they mean this as a synonym for disorganization? Machine with excess parts? If I called the parts of me I no longer want vestigial this would imply they were the vestige of a once-boy. Remnant of a never-was. Or perhaps they mean it as disruption in the neat arrangement of a system? Misplaced chromosome. Missing rib. Screw balded as a knuckle. First cell to metastasize. Our language unable to speak my gender out of disease. Breasts growing like tumors from a lab rat’s spleen. Cells in disarray. Gender as etymology of abrupted skin. As melanoma severed. The scar a creeping ulcer leaves. My clutter of apoplectic nerves. Spine a chaos of misplaced bone. Trace vestigial back to its oldest root & you will find a footprint in the dust. Trace my gender back to its oldest root & you will find my father’s footprint on my chest, sinking all the way down to my blood.