Exposed brick faces me as I wait for words. I run my hands through hair that feels like summer grass and I chew my fingers
Each nail is stripped of its paint, bright and bitter
For a minute my mind drifts into a memory of spring berries bursting sour in my mouth.
I never could wait for summer to ripen.
I sit in the wooden forest of chained benches on coffee island.
Sitting over rocky pavement and surrounded by roaring concrete I remember the baby bird we nudged towards death.
We chipped away, peeling at the shell with hungry prying fingers, even as the chick lay shuddering and cowered from the light. Relentless in our need to complete the harm, forcing it to hatch faster than I could keep it alive.
The colour are even correct.
Greys of every shade and wood being transformed into ghostly boards at the appallingly slow pace of destruction this intersection of the suburbs and city can handle.
It is here I hide. Watching desperately interested in finding out about each person that walks by.
My cup hides me.
My phone hides me.
My drink hides me.
My gender presentation hides me.
Hides my gaze.
Maybe even something twisted that can feel like power in the shadows.
The chains on the bench at coffee island make a kind of wretched sense that is far too stark to give words to.
Remember when the drinks stopped pouring and I came undone?
walking home completely sober limbs pulled apart
concrete under finger nails I dug in desparation
past any point of return
dug a grave shallow so all would see my rot
What prayers were said?
who stood vigil as I returned to earth?
did you sprinkle sand and seeds over my greening grave?
Did you kiss the memory of loving me in the dark?
the softness of my skin seared into your fingertips.
How many tears were shed?
did you count and collect them all?
A quantification of a life lost…
a callous number to round out so much incomplete dreaming…
footsteps never taken
passports never stamped
but so many stolen kisses
So many words bleeding heavy over poorly bound books
purchased in the absence of real direction
unfollowed up on
without any hope of panning out
effort to what end?
now I am the bones ground away by time
the marrow that feeds worms
now I wait for the sun
Give me english unwhitened
dragged by the ancestors
melinated in mouths magic
or speak none at all
I rub your face with my sweat slick hands
Hands I sat on and rocked waiting for you to arrive.
Hands that were as cold as they were filled with anticipation.
My ass was cold through thin trousers made of cheap cotton sewed by small children.
Children with big eyes and brown skin.
Children that for a difference of a few years, looked just like me
I smelled my sweat and the cold wind hitting it just so that anyone who came near me would know … “Yes, winter sweat, that is what I am smelling.”
This intermingled with the rusty bench, cold and metal.
These scents existed in a loop my mind traveled across paying attention to each part in a sequence, over and over.
All while waiting.
Fluids fell out of me as I anticipated you.
Your feet stepping on concrete.
The feeling my eyes sent my hands as always imagining caressing your coat when I saw you before burying my hands diving past each layer.
I always sought skin.
I wanted to find where I could feel your life…pulsing and tell you with my fingertips how much I loved you.
I couldn’t with my mouth because it would scare us both but my hands could whisper truths to your spine.
I know your heart would hear.
For now, sweating and waiting.
A heart bursts open to reveal a tender moon that no chains can trap
nor hands can tuck away
No light and uncertainty to fall away from an ache that began with your being,
pressed into the backs of your eyelids
etched into bones
Desire demanding and breath revealing
through murky water that spills
into an ocean of ancestors tears
Terror follows with tides and teeth
Relief is a crumbling in cracked hands
You cannot pray the ocean away
Alive or dead, the water will drown us
Deliver our bones
Bloated and betrayed
In water where there is none
Lean into my chest and let go.
Fat belly Bella laying it down, as I get up and pull you close.
Rewrite the rush and find your rhythm as it grows soft and warm
Sweet and sticky…
Do you remember the last time you melted, onto my mouth like the honey pooled at the bottom of my cup of tea?
Feet flutter in blankets, and hearts beat in chests.
Can’t butterflies get a minute to fall back and stop resisting?
Hearts in gentle hands.
Blankets and sighs
Find me here.
Hello my name is Jassie Justice,
I am an Intersex Femme person who is mixed.
I am South Asian and Caribbean. I am mixed.
I am settler living on colonized land known as Toronto, Turtle Island, land of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Mississaugas of the New Credit, Huron-Wendat and other Indigenous peoples.
I am living with an invisible disability and I have Complex PTSD.
I am a survivor.
I do facilitation, community education and workshops.
I am a poet, writer, multimedia artist, performance artist, sex worker (on hiatus), a yoga practitioner and theoretician, as well as being deeply committed to understanding and continuing to heal mutually constituted oppressions and trauma.
I resist and fight back with love and passion.
If you would like to connect with me around my work, please contact me via:
I was always the witch.
This is a word in a tongue that is not mine but will do.
I am terror when you make me the other, but if you stand with me I become possibility.
Find me in the woods, sharpening my axe, sewing my bags, and waiting.
Smell the blood. Lick the earth, and listen for my laugh.