The Forest Has No Gender by Jay Douglas

Photography by Maria Kazvan | Website | Etsy Shop | Facebook | Flickr

The Forest Has No Gender

it is divine
which is to say it contains divinity
but also as in a rich pastry, a chocolate éclair,
or an expensive red wine – the kind you sip slowly
every piece

of clothing I own feels like drag
as in crossdressing
slipping into and out of pronouns smooth
as snakeskin
as in something chained
to the back of a rusted red pickup
being scraped along a dusty country road
maybe a body – dead – or it will be by the end
of the drive
or the long breath in
through a filtered cigarette
every inhale
a relief, a risk

after the old woman with no eyebrows asks
if I’m in the wrong bathroom
I start carrying a knife in my left pants-pocket
only pissing in places where the shift
manager knows my name

but the forest is devoid of straight
lines – twisting trees echoing my spine,
curving streams like hands
tracing my body in the half-dark of not-quite-dawn
– it doesn’t have to pretend
that it’s not an ecosystem

Jay Douglas

Jay Douglas is a senior undergraduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania studying English and World Religions. When not writing, Jay can usually be found honing Jay’s mad yo-yo skills or immersed in a book on queer theory.