las tunas / the fruit I had been looking for, 2020​ 

Nikon DSLR

 

As a queer person I’ve been thinking a lot about the ways in which this form of forced isolation not only separates us from our community, but also from the habits we keep in maintaining the bodies we sometimes struggle to control. But what will we do when our reflections refuse to satisfy us? Who will we become when we are left only with ourselves?

 

Time shows itself these days in lawns and body hair overgrown as they compete for my divided attention. Outside the first cacti are in bloom, and while our urban delights sit silent and shuttered the budding spring flora has eagerly taken its place. All around me young nopales chatter softly in the sun and I can hear them calling my name in a tongue I know but cannot speak.

 

Thoughts come to me as a swarm in the space around my skull like the black flightless beetles that crawl and cling to their flores. One by one I watch them climb over each other in their gluttony, coating their swollen bodies with bright yellow pollen they will hoard and keep for themselves. When they are done, once wide open forms wilt and close in the evening shade. Empty and exhausted, they fall to the ground in pieces for a fruit to take its place. 

 

I hold their sunburnt petals too tightly, feeling what’s left of their spines settle sharply into my soft palms. 

 

I want to tell them how happy I am to carry them with me.  

 

I want to tell them how much they have been and will be missed.
 

I want to tell them, with my chest bound and tanned skin, how far I have come for this.

I want to say, that maybe this is all just for them now (?)

 

but first this was for me.