Content warning: science-fictional medical abuse, body horror, transmisogyny
Endgame Girl Form
In the year 20XX a great cataclysm
overcomes humanity. The cataclysm
is of indiscernible nature, gender,
and political inclination. Some believe the
cataclysm to be God. Others believe it to be
the first mother’s hatred. Still
others refuse to acknowledge a difference.
In the future the only women left are
invented: structurally exquisite
automatons of diamond and titanium
designed to survive the harsh conditions
of the post-apocalyptic gender atopia.
Women are wired from “birth” for adornment and
armament, women are lab-grown in
chambers filled with heat and weight
in a brutally cost-efficient but chemically
identical approximation of the real thing.
Differences can only be discerned by experts
under great magnification that reveal
curved growth lines, microscopic gas bubbles,
increased likelihood of osteoporosis and
Future breed women make abominations
of language, and are thusly denied
publication. Language is born out of
utility, a mechanism to convey
battle strategy by meme. Women are our
soldiers for the permanence, the vessels
of contrived ingenuity into which
We (the protagonists, the Player Characters)
place our attempts at perpetuity.
[i h8 / th future. i h8 th way it wud desire
smth / from us, as if / it had a will.
smth like hunger / born from th h8treds
of men. i h8 / how it resurrex / dead names, like
“destiny” / and “vitruvian .” h8 how
it keeps making us. i promise / i wont
let it get away with this.]
Portrait In Saw Wave
(after Lauren Bousfield and Ada Rook)
smth abt an imprecise distortion of / form and msg. smth abt noise. smth abt / disruption of respectable comm / -unication. smth abt illegibility. smth abt hurtin ur ears. smth abt liking / the hurt. smth abt liking hurting u. / i like hurting. / im gonna peel my face out of the sticky plastic sheet of white noise. / an shes gonna look slick an brand new an / made up all ovr an beautiful an / im nvr gonna make sense / to u. thunder makes a noise with a name / but on the video its jus clippin brutality. / listen its like this, / u understand form thru the empty / space. u understand color by the / diffrence. you build rhythm out of the broken / and remade silence. / pause. repeat. pause. / this is the world of things meant to exist. / the world of / i am where i am supposed to be. / im not / where i should be. im not here to live in it. / im the dis / -rup / -shun / of canonic structure. / im the thing that cant be heard. / im the noise.
Girl is a Cup
Girl is a cup. Girl
is a vessel towards something.
Girl is a thing to be filled
with something else, poured into
as another thing is evacuated.
Girl is shaped to carry something alien.
I am a small oat milk iced latte
a vessel named after its contents,
rather than what it is (which is
a cup filled with cold slaking), and
after the contents are emptied
the purpose of the vessel is void,
and it is stripped of a name
and discarded. Plastic carcass
decomposing in an empty Starbucks.
Rain on the mountain basin is a name.
Swelling the eroded pelvis of saltwater.
The accumulation of violence
made into a new face, even in stone.
The water keeps falling cold.
The mountain basin imagines the raindrops
are still, and that she is racing
towards heaven, a fantasy of being elsewhere.
Two girls hold their hands out
to each other. They locate love
outside the body, in fluids and salt.
I want to hold you. Come into my hands.
I want to hollow out and carry you.
I want holding to be every kind of touch.
I was six years old and terrified
of the thought of swallowing an apple seed.
Feeling her root gutrot into my womb,
weave latticework hunger into my lungs,
something parched and cynical coming up my throat.
She would grow through me like a sin,
make herself known like bitterness.
“This is what could have happened,” she says,
before the world ends.
“This is how it could have been different.”
Sweet and crisp and all inside you.
Don’t you hate it? Don’t you want to tear it down?
I am with a girl I have loved wrong.
We are wine drunk and bludgeoning each other with
tendernesses and indulgent sentimentalities.
We are the last survivors of womankind.
We are crushing grapes for tomorrow,
somehow, even though tomorrow won’t come.
I hate the way we became. The way we leave
thick streaks of ourselves on the windowsills
for the mice to come and lap.
The way we still tried to love when we didn’t know how.
The way she clutches my hand as if to say:
Imagine. We could have so much more than this.
Nora Hikari is an emerging poet and Asian-American trans lesbian based in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Perhappened Magazine, ANMLY, and Ogma Magazine, among others, and her poem “Deer-to-Fish Transition Timeline” has been nominated for the Best of the Net award. She can be found at @norabot2.0 on Instagram, and at her website norahikari.com.