Aeon Ginsberg

Against Brunch

Can I call myself a witch if my only rituals
revolve around a migraine I get roughly every
one PM on a Sunday? Brunch seeps through my skin,
maple syrup curses and hexes against dippy eggs,
brunch is a curse we have given ourselves when
we decided that breakfast could be called something different
when 9-to-5’ers aren’t 9-to-5’ing, and so maybe all
food service workers are in someway mystics for bearing
the burn of a decision hubris created.

Shed the layer of skin that is all coffee ground and honey stick,
my skin has never been softer than after the 9 hours behind
a la marzocco, and for this I’m conflicted, but no one needs
to call themselves fancy for drinking orange juice and Andre
(maybe this is Andre’s curse, something aggressive and full of headaches).

If working Brunch makes me a witch I do not want magic
in my world, I want dippy eggs at home, in bed, alone.
If being full of magic means spending that energy at work,
please fire me for my insolence, pyre this body against the flat top
grill, fry me over easy. If it isn’t too much, over medium.

Joan D’Arc, what kind of egg did they burn you at? Sunny side?
Were you poached in gods mouth? At least I have enough power to stop a spell
asking for poached witches with their toast for 7 dollars an egg.
There might not be much use for breakfast magic in anything but
denial, so I know I will deny away until my paycheck denies itself
into groceries or rent instead of a knife
slicing down the middle of me
in anticipation of something dippy.

POEM IN WHICH I TRANSITION INTO MITOCHONDRIA

the powerhouse of the cell.

a waitress goes viral bodyslamming a pervert – rejoice!
I want to body slam everyone who ever hurt me

but I am weak now so it is time to work on getting swole
until it’s possible to body the world.

Remember when milk was supposed to give you strong bones?
I stopped drinking dairy and now it just gives me strong gas

so maybe bodyslamming is off the table, but I could chokeslam
with my unfortunate bowels – rejoice to your distance: for being downwind(?) from me.

I used to be fit and even than I was better at running away
from my fears, then running into the flames of unforgiveness.

When I was young, I remember running from anything
that could bite into me, whichever way that would be.

One of the last memories I have of my brother is restraining him
from swinging fists at me and my mother.

He was a powerhouse of the cell, the cell being the family.
I need to get swole so I can do more than just run or restrain –

I need to not be afraid of my mortality so much that it overtakes.
But I am afraid. If they recorded it, my first autonomous feeling

would probably be fear. Fear of myself, of the world, of mankind.
Being alive is a shitty undertaking. I need to undertake getting swole.

Take the rug from under myself, I don’t get to decide that this world
is worth being strong enough to destroy me.

The Undertaker chokeslams Mankind through the top
of the cell in ‘98 – when I’m swole I’ll chokeslam mankind too

and through that will know if it’s worth it to live long enough
to die for a world destined to overpower you.

POEM IN WHICH I TRANSITION DURING A HUNGER STRIKE

I can’t talk about gender without also talking about hunger / I salivate for neither and eclipse my body in androgyny / Bless the hot takes that say white androgyny isn’t the same as noncomformity / I need to know my body isn’t what I should run after / yet I run after it / I have been hungry for as long as I have been uncomfortable / with my monikers / with the sound of my name in your mouth / call me what you will / just don’t call me late to a dinner / I wouldn’t show up at to begin with / an unconscious strike against masculinity / women cook / men eat / and I wither / I can’t talk about being a trans feminine body without talking about the hunger I hide from / in the darkest parts of the water / catfish in the mud / me, a woman / me, a heart so slow / you could mistake it for your own / I’m ashamed I wasn’t born with a skeleton as delicate as my self-esteem / so I stale my bones / peanut brittle body / I can’t talk about my hunger without talking / about my gender / my moon and my sun / constant eclipse of wanting / I ask for progesterone to redistribute the fat in me / I redistribute my time to avoid meals until there is cleavage / the second I start thinking of my transition / as against something I cannot control / is the same second the penned my date of birth / it can be recorded once more when I tried on a dress in a friends dorm room / a sweet sixteen of bones / I drown in my saliva and a man I don’t know / calls me sweetheart / how I wish to hydrate off of my own blood / bite the tongue that feeds you / and I am tongueless / show me a way to avoid mirrors and I will / show me a way to avoid meals / and I will / and I have / I work 8 days a week and don’t give myself time to eat / and yet only my muscles wither / okay google “how to shrink your skeleton” / okay google “how long can you strike against hunger” / my gender is in solitary / until another queer calls me a babe / and I drink my way into desire / drink desire to fill myself / full house of liquids / must be a siren / must mermaid my body against a current / the moon is full against the sun / and I am blind to my exposed ribcage / curious that I’ve never lost my voice / but never known what song to sing to be ravenous for a meal / I can’t talk / about gender / or hunger / without reference to the absence I salivate for / my gender is a burning star / my hunger the rock that wanes in orbit around me / my body stands in solidarity against myself / I drink and it refuses to eat / I eat compliments about my body as they crest the jetty of my skin / so soft and without / fault / so when I talk about my gender / I talk about my hunger / my little titties and my fat belly / so empty and wanting / hiding behind every excuse / manmade levees / child of poverty / my stomach learned from my cabinets how to be so empty / my one excuse / I never learned to eat / so I swallow my saliva / I never learned how to be a woman / so I become a monster instead / all ribs / the hull of a ship I build with my bones / polish with my pills / use the fat I grow chemically to hold myself together / the tides are changing so I need to learn to float a full feminine body / I won’t make it to the bottom of the ocean / no matter how small I make myself

POEM IN WHICH I TRANSITION
AWAY FROM PERSONHOOD¹

¹“If the state is taken as an actant then there
is little need to decide whether it is an actual
 “person” or not . . .”
–Stefanie R. Fishel, The
Microbial State:   Global Thriving and The
Body Politic

Starting     a    habit    takes    a
reminder,   a   routine,   and   a
reward. I  don’t  want  to   keep 
waking  up  if  it  means  I’ll  be
reminded that  life is a  routine
where the  imbalance of  power
rewards those  that  strip away
everything  from  the  people  I
love.

Aeon Ginsberg (they/them) is a writer and performer from Baltimore City, MD. They are the author of two chapbooks: Until The Cows Come Home (Elation Press, 2016) and Loathe/Love/Lathe (Nostrovia! Press, 2017). Aeon is a Taurus, a barista, a bartender, and a bitch.