A sample of my work soon-to-be released in print !
From mexican-korean-disabled-queer artist Caro.
You can find the rest of this piece in the hard copy of Mixed Up!
*Gasp* that’s right, we’re only giving you PART of this totally awesome piece, talk about a teaser.
What A _______ Can Take by Caro Reyes
23 years of life prepared me
for a world that was not prepared for me,
for someone that is no easy read,
blurring categories many are not well versed in.
And that takes time, the couple of minutes you do not have,
the extra effort to understand in a time priming us all
to move quickly, to get going, to understand our world
via set categories and Google,
its one-second-download-click for all we want to know…
…if we have the time.
I was prepped for this:
to navigate appearing one way, but being another,
an existence of in-betweens.
To sometimes look like an immigrant: “Where are you from? No, really, where are you from?”
To sometimes look like a game: “Don’t tell me… Chinese? Japanese? I’ll get it! Please don’t tell me.”
To sometimes look like a tomboy: “Wait, you’re gay gay? You’re not a femme or butch!”
To sometimes look mixed: “Oh, so you’re half white.”
to not look disabled and being judged by all those above
to not look disabled and carrying a load invisible to all
to look young and healthy when my body has aged to 64
is something I was not prepared for.
This “looking healthy” to pain ratio disconnect has me floored.
Do I tell you
how each morning, when I wake up,
how my foot stays deep in Sandman dreams
pulling me in, bringing my morning into a painful nightmare,
my foot and leg covered in bear traps gnawing
at me at various gauges?
How do I share
how my sacrum freezes into a bloodless numbness
making my legs uneven wooden beams,
as I teeter forward and back, I hear the piano play
to entertain the gods staring in disbelief from above
at my attempt to stand and start my day?
When do I explain
how every time I take a step,
my calf fills like an hourglass of needles
each burning needle falling slowly into my foot,
my mind clawing its way out to escape my body’s
auto setting: Numb Here-Numb There-Now?
Why am I sharing
my pain-pocked reality as you work on traumas of your own?
I have nothing to gain from eyes filled with pity.
And I’m ashamed to say I’m filled with envy
for how you can numb yourself away into far-away dreams,
a reality for the healthy and young, something I lost
when I was bound and gagged into a time machine
that spit me out into an aged body I was not prepared for.
Oh, what a soul can take.