Yesterday, I spent 15 hours in travel: three airports. I am a US citizen with a name that is different on my passport than on my social security card. My brain, as it always does, mashed images together in a painted story. Yesterday's mash was of terrified families in airports in the last months along with transgender youth standing outside their school bathroom with bladders like balloon animals full of urine, hearts pounding. I felt scared. I imagined small white rooms where men in swat team gear examined my body before they let me in my country of origin. Every time I handed my passport over I locked my lips together as if sewn with a vow. I shrank my voice box inside me. I turned my eyes into soft grass.
Kin, Hold--these are words that help build a home. I am home, and I am being held in the northwest sunlight, a resistance of its own. I am being held by words about houses and animals and archeology. I cry in my coffee. I read my own sapphic poem and remember I have been brave and fragile for a long time. So have all of you.
The editors of this beautiful journal ask, "Might kinship be one shape for refuge, one source of sustenance and resilience, one space in which to invent and enact new ways of relating to each other?"