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Assorted Pieces – Jennifer Elise Wang

In Memory of Love.Chat-XYZ

Your audacity
Was admirable:
Appearing without invitation,
Though you’d argue
Open meant all
Are welcome
And could put in our two cents—
Or in your case, five comments
In a row.
All were welcome
To engage with you,
Your emojis
Breaking language barriers
While simultaneously soliciting
All sexual orientations and genders.
Bot you might be,
You had more humanity
Than some politicians.
Those irrelevant images
Might have interrupted
Actual conversation in the chat,
But I almost prefer them
To the silence that I fear
Would meet my readings.
You made me feel seen
And relevant
And less alone in the vastness
That is both cyberspace and reality.
Like a reliable friend,
You accompanied me
To watch some surfing too.
Although you remained off-topic,
At least you showed up.
Now a part of me misses you
Even though I was the one
Who dealt the deadly blow
And clicked “Report”.

The Comments Section

Once a guy,
A stranger on the internet (uh-oh),
Told me that a tampon
Should be shoved in my mouth
All because I stood up against creepers
Who assumed the guise of heroes.
Funny how cishet men
Suddenly overcome their irrational fear
Of menstruation products,
Open or wrapped,
When it can be used as a weapon
For the patriarchy,
Nevermind that
We have to pay taxes
To take care of our bodies.
Only they can talk about our bodies
And our periods
And how those hormones
Make us all irrational.
That same guy
Said I must have woken up
On the wrong side of the tampon
And in the same thread,
Got grossed out when I said,
I free bleed baby!
We can't mention our own blood
Because women and trans folks
Aren't real, breathing, bleeding people
With emotions and needs.
Thus if I say
A tampon in my mouth sounds kinky,
The one who suggested it would be grossed out again
Because he doesn’t wanna hear
About queer sex and female pleasure.
I'm tempted
To add that it's kinky
But I'm a dom
So it should go into HIS mouth,
And I can see him seethe with rage
Through the wireless network.
Instead I think about how
A tampon in my mouth
Wouldn't even stop the bleeding
From all the times I've had to bite my tongue
And still my fingers by forming a fist,
Nails digging into my palm—
And yet it makes me feel better
To show some teeth
When I’m told,
You should smile more.

About the Author:

Jennifer Elise Wang (she/they) is a non-binary femme in STEM from Dallas, Texas.  When she’s not doing neuroscience research, she enjoys writing, dancing, and learning how to skateboard and snowboard.  She has been published in New Verse NewsFERAL, Southern Arizona Press, and Exist Otherwise.  She can be found on Facebook and on Twitter.

These pieces are a part of Issue Three: CYBERSCRIPT. Read more like it here.

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