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A Stroll Through the Museum of My Gender Ending with a Minor Capitulation to Commodity Fetishism

By antmen pimentel mendoza

The memory palace has an all gender bathroom
               and I’m not the middle figure in the half-skirt,
                              half-pants chimera outfit, but I do like to piss

in a single-stall situation. On the couch
               is the heavy blanket that kept me Catholic. Going
                              up the stairs is an act of poise and in the kitchen

is a lemon, wedged and pledged. Under the bed
               is the laser printed felt, the earrings I drew
                              onto my lobes and my cheeks flush, burning. A framed

photo of possibility: Alexis Arquette television cameos
               throughout the 1990’s. The bathroom is all rose quartz
                              and even I vibrate toward something sweet when I sink

into the cavernous tub, actually oversized, sans jets
               because I saw an episode of House Hunters that changed
                              my mind about those. The water is the right temperature

and has the right mineral deposits to make me
               changeable, to make a pleasure organ of me yet. I have sweeping
                              ocean views, I have sweeping oceans, view I have, I am sweeping,

I am ocean ocean. Textiles, only organique, only
               draped. I love discovery against both my politics
                              and better judgement: I have a soft spot for accumulation

or the silent compliance a museum or library asks
               of me. If neither my body nor I are discoverable,
                              what do we do with the weight of flesh? If neither place

nor language is available for discovery, what do we do
               about forgetting? What might remembering belabor?
                              In my dreams lately, I press up against shortcomings

in tongues I don’t know well enough for even dreamtalk.
               “Estoy visitando…” At the museum in Manila, I
                              trace galleons from shores and back. That is,

we know nothing truly of history. That is, we try
               but how much good is that, really? That is,
                              it’s Andres Bonifacio Day and I didn’t know

the mall and all of the museums would be closed. I write
               “Buy a pair of shoes” onto my to-do list because I have
                               my eyes on a $75 pair of house slippers.




Listen as antmen pimentel mendoza reads A Stroll Through the Museum of My Gender Ending with a Minor Capitulation to Commodity Fetishism

Added: Tuesday, August 8, 2023  /  Used with permission.
antmen pimentel mendoza
Photo by Paul Goudarzi-Fry.

antmen pimentel mendoza (she, he, they) is the author of the chapbook MY BOYFRIEND APOCALYPSE (Nomadic Press, 2023; reprinted by Black Lawrence Press). antmen is a writer, the Interim Director of the Multicultural Community Center at UC Berkeley, and a student at the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. Find antmen online at @antmenismagic on Twitter and Instagram and at their website or riding her bike in Oakland, CA.


Image Description: antmen pimentel mendoza faces the camera and smiles under dappled light. antmen wears a green and red flannel shirt and his hair is black and shoulder-length.

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