becoming more human
I am delivered.
I have arrived, organic
flesh and bone, feeling
human, skin stretched / muscles tensing
sleep-deprived / sleep-needing
chewing, / / digesting,
growing, / / ingesting
contemplating / reaching,
growing, achieving, moving
would you believe h u r t i n g .
the tension, tendon, tortured
laughter, wells deep of joy
crinkling eyes, confused
bursting w/ life and energy,
pulsing, alive, here, hands
conscious, height- ened, crashing.
aware, thinking, confused,
majorly confused, complicated,
urges, dancing, awkward, consequences
moving, movement, inhale, exhale,
holding, delicate, fragile, breaking
weeping, strong, rising
learning, swimming, falling
anger, sorrow, grief, hardened heart
soft, failing, giving, touch
habit, ritual, bowing, lounging
flexing, crossing, walking
standing, fighting, tossed around
knocked out, weak, growing
hitting a wall, growing
control, balance, losing
starving, satisfying, attracted
compelled, convulsions, repulsion
disgust, fear, shivers, angst, lightning
love, warmth, bitter, lashing, wild
running, playing, cooking, creating
watching, intaking, expressing, wishing
yearning yearning yearning
compact, atoms, buzzing, laughing
feeding, praying, philosophizing
connecting, riding, emotions, waves
sitting, reacting, staring, spacing
limited, mortal, wondering, scared
post traumatic stress disorder
anxiety, resistance, depression, numbness
return, nostalgia, memories, longing
difference, existential, sinning
repenting sinning repenting sinning repenting
l e a r n i n g .
b r e a t h i n g .
e x t e n d i n g .
g r o w i n g.
l i v i n g.
m o r t a l . e m b o d i e d . s p i r i t .
what is this life
I have been given
this compact concentration
of genes and stardust and earth
of information and spirituality
makes up the shape of me.
What an accident
that I was created
in their sex.
What a miracle.
All that is natural
Retired Matchmaking God
Imagine a man so focused on God
that the only reason he looked up to see you
is because he heard God say, “That’s her.”
I’ve imagined it. And he’s dumb as rocks.
I imagine a God tired of telling every creature which one to eat for lunch;
every moth which mate to flutter in the air with;
every octopus which lumbering other to dance in the sea with;
every lizard, amphibian, mammal,
which encounters to end their lives on a high note with;
every mutation to every happy painting accident,
happy sculpting accident, guiding evolution along
to get just the right cells and sparks and DNA in place.
What if God is tired of being asked to account for
for every appearance possible to be mutated into reality?
for the uncanny valley, too, for the Neanderthals were His creation too,
that He loved and folded up into later use, a creation that had its run.
He is busy, mandating every mate, sparking every love
and for the birds, it’s a lot of pressure, because they do mate for life you know;
and for the bees, it’s a lot of pressure, because one date means an entire colony;
and for the humans, well, he tried to give a different story—
tested if they could be the first asexual aromantic creatures, actually
to conceive anew from sole spiritual love, to create from outside, beaming
but the world was not ready for that. It only saw miracles in breeders.
And years later, they will divide up a tale of how man must not be alone
and limit that only to monogamy
and all the rest of unloneliness to but temptation.
Finally, God gave in and gave the humans sex just as the creatures before them
and though He emphasizes Adam chooses Eve
and though Eve is, just as much, loving Adam
they will add that her love was submissive, while Lilith’s unmatch was rebellious
though Lilith and Eve were friends, perhaps. They never fought over Adam.
(Can Liliths and Eves ever be friends? Can Adams and Eves?)
And now the people, how they cry out for matchmaking;
and how they plan love for political gain;
and how sometimes marriage is the only thin thread keeping peoples
from killing one another.
Tired matchmaking God adores when His beloveds meet at last
but delegates to the angels all this nonsense about going to hell for singleness too long
for ungratefulness for being attractive;
for selfishness of not mixing DNA every chance they get;
for cheating on future husbands, spare a thought for people who will never exist,
as if God could ever neglect to make a single soul.
Meanwhile, single souls are shot down in the land of the living, too,
every survivor not pitiable enough.
Tired matchmaking God delegates to the cloud of witnesses: all that cry of losing heaven’s pass
for horrors of loving more than once, and not bundling up all their hearts and feelings;
for the sin of knowing their own created body and what feels like comfort to them;
for the spit in the face of creation for loving truly, healthily, with full adoration
if they have too much in common, like anatomy, or talk too much beforehand.
The ancestors themselves struggle sometimes, to be more than ancestor,
to call them more than descendent. What else can we call them? they ask God.
They can barely hold themselves up, and worry too about failing generations down the line.
How to tell them it’s okay, souls already shall be, outside of time? We exist either way?
How to tell them, God knows? God has not answered yet.
Tired matchmaking God wants to turn to the cosmos and heavens
keep on creating there, for God does have others to tend to
but something keeps calling Him back, sweet children He cannot leave
crying out when they get to be loved, when they get to be loved, when they get to be loved
in a world so full of love, so crammed with heaven,
that they buried it, and misplaced their treasure,
and damned the earth that holds them up.
In the deepest dark
where you’d think is colder than the poles,
where food is a blue whale carcass
stocked for years, or none at all
Where light hypnotizes, and jaws snatch
in a world without our eyes;
Where the smallest may feast
making clean this world [unseen]
and oceans, too, without skies—
In this deepest dark,
close to the earth’s heart
where sun is a myth
and the surface unheard of
(is such ignorance bliss?):
If light filters not from above
falling to serve those below—
then let my light be from within
and in this universe, glow.
Ellen Huang (she/her) is an aroace lover of the whimsical gothic and spec-fic. She reads for Whale Road Review and is published/forthcoming in K’in, Resurrection Mag, Serendipity Lit, Brown Sugar Literary, The Sock Drawer, South Broadway Ghost Society, miniskirt magazine, warning lines, Moss Puppy Magazine, Messy Misfits, Persephone’s Daughters, and more. She is currently working on a fairytale chapbook and an asexual horror anthology.