j/j hastain

Viscera in the Form of Tides

Before you get here, as I wait, I can’t help but think that there is no way that you will ever get here in enough time. The thought of you comes in waves. Need for weight can crenellate the flesh. It can leave unnerving, inverted gaps: swells. I can feel the flourish of bruises and marks between my legs even though I have not yet been able to open them to you. Do you know how long I have been waiting for this? I wonder whether or not you will use the window. I have left it open for you. I need the gusts that move through it: addicted to night’s grease. 

I bet you didn’t notice me the first time I saw you. You were bent over that car with your back turned toward me, your hands shoved into its guts: obtuse engine made smooth by personified insertion. I noticed how you were bending in relation to the car: not like a typical straight man. You were a little more curve: a fist loosening after the squirming body has slowed. I could see so much on you, in you; I could see the other men you have been a lover to. 

Image and visions turn desire into swooning loom.

My teeth feel rusty when I imagine. The things I need are resonant resin: tighten the cuff, wrap the encrusted leather above and below my tan line. When you finally get here our bodies won’t be distances or distractions anymore. They will be tangential improvisation. They will find a way to fit. 

I feel you in me before you are even here and the rubies in your phantom weight feel clean.


Brother and sister are stressing the small scooter. Are they doing this on purpose? Highly likely. They know that they are beautiful in this: the force of them altering the suspension of the small vehicle. Their outfits match, slightly. 

Her black dress is short and her thick legs are sticking out from under it, bouncing a bit as they move along the road. There is a teal ribbon around the waist of her dress. It is like an exterior vein spilling forth between them. The vein reminds her of Frida Kahlo: all those capillaries capable of being blown by the wind. His belly is dear: just big enough. He is wearing jeans and a black tee shirt and though he presents as masculine, he often ponders nests. His shirt has teal lining that matches the vein in her dress and he sees it being looped and looped into the materiality of the next by rare, luminous birds.

They are a living inversion, changing time by bouncing with obtuse. As they weigh down space, they are uplifted by the result: gamut and juice winning out over social pressure, a longevity shared by both psychic and physical lineage.

Devotions to Dante: Divinations of a Nameless Saint by Skew

It might have been the last day of their lives, or maybe it was the first. Perhaps it was both, happening at once: simultaneity, an atonal moan, an abysmal anti-brevity. The lovers had been returning to Santa Croce for years. Even though Dante’s body was not actually buried there, they felt compelled to flagellate in front of his memorial. “The body only gets you so far,” they pronounce as they nod in unison. They agree that there are many things in need of being praised: his life, his name, all of his allusions. He is their sobriquet. They will embody him actively. It is only natural, they think; they relate to the feeling of ongoing exile too.

Some flexibilities are postponed by context. Other flexibilities are inborn, amplified by context and must be lived out. It is the particle-flexibility in the lovers’ prostrate that is a sense-of-self for them. On their knees, and by way of their devotion, they find ways to push each other’s bodies even further into flush: forms collaboratively inducing evermore leniency for the sake of the most dramatic, for inimitable love.

During the duration in which they have been attending to him, they continue to return to the exact same place in the church: on top of the worn-down, horizontal pronouncement. A figural representation of the saint long buried deep beneath the floor of the church has been flattened by tourists who walk over it without much notice. Foot placed right there to try and get the perfect picture. 

Dante never performs for tourists attempting to take his photo. Don’t they know that? Can’t they feel it? The lovers shake their heads in tempo with each other; their tears fall at equal pace. They know that the tourists never pause to consider what saint’s sculpted visage they are wearing down with the weight of their position. Tourists just step and step: the sharp points of their shoes wearing away a dead saint’s savory details, the only livelihood it has left. 

This is how features can be unintentionally robbed from the sacred vestments. The lovers forms, stretched out over the almost featureless saint, are indicative of how the actual bodies of practitioners can protect against discrepancies in belief about what the human position is for.


“Do you have a preference on the gender of the therapist?”

Pause so drastic that the pause itself could be breathing. Pause on the part of the person who has made this call in hopes of getting some hands-on therapy to help with the pulled muscle in their groin after rough sex last weekend. Pause in the body of a person who does not identify as a woman or a man only, a person who knows that when they are being asked about the “gender” of the therapist, the person asking them this question does not know that what they are in fact referring to is born-sex differentiation. The person being asked this question wonders if something should be said about gender versus gen sex. Saying something is decided against. This call was about the strained muscle more than it was supposed to be a damn lesson. Xe teaches this stuff all day to the students anyway, and xe gets sick of having to be the one who is teaching all of the time.

“I want the best therapist that you have on staff.”

Many hours in the day have passed since the call and xe is on the warm table. Xe has just given the therapist permission to bruise xem. “Go as deep as you can. Depth is the only way I can think, to counter deep pain.” Sometimes xe has visions. It was a vision of the body being emancipated by the pronoun (as opposed to it being boxed in or held down by it) that first brought xem to xir in the first place. “Xir:” pronounced like fur which is different than pronouncing it like her.