Queer Earth by Jess X. Snow
"Sexual expression is permitted only within marriage, between man and woman, male and female. Anything else is an abnormality and is against nature." — Pope Shenouda III
You speak of nature as if you invented it. Or gutted it & used its bones to fashion a white castle,
to keep you safe from all the animals you refuse to see.
Tonight, each grain of soil, each blade of grass, each droplet of blood is a time machine. Each cell
rewinds you four & a half billion years back in history. We were once genderless cells splitting our own bodies—
in two—now growing gills, fins and feet. 65,000 queer & trans species.
It's always mating season on planet Earth: look at the way leopard slugs
make love: upside down from trees—two penises coiling into orchids. A penetration
so mutual—it is worthy of bioluminescence.
Look at the way bonobo monkeys resolve conflict: queer polyamorous sex in the morning, evening, and afternoon.
Look at the penguins mating for life, warming the egg of another mother with the heat between their bellies.
When an oyster produces a perfect pearl: they transition from male to female. For crustaceans, gender is a border
that does not exist. Do you hear the orchestra of dolphins? Masturbating against the seabed, penetrating
each other's blow holes, as if this human history never began. If our love defies the logic of your biology,
then what is queer pleasure if not heavenly? Is this queer ocean not the tidal waves roaring
within your bloodstream? Is this queer Earth not the same carbon that birthed your flesh?
To be queer, Earth, and alive is to be hunted & marked wild. A beast banished from heaven,
a bleached coral reef, a jungle clear-cut, a planet domesticated like cattle, and butchered in the hands of machines.
Yet, our queerness is an ancient persistence. So tell me: we be against nature.
& our bones will remember— we've been queer for 3.6 billion springs,
summers, falls & winters. & even after your infant empire
collapses into dust, we will still be queer.