ONE: TRANS PLANET / by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza


first there was nothing
then god created a man & immediately she said
“i’ve made a huge mistake”
it’s okay god
i make mistakes all the time
like believing in people
like questioning myself
like my shaking hands gripping a book & a microphone
while i try to say what i believe loudly
there is a silence in me that is not deep
it does not go on forever
it is only a pause
a hesitation
the thing you lack in your fingers
as you tell me about beauty
“beauty is the absence of meaning” 
some asshole once said
but the only thing i do for its own sake
is continue not to die
every morning i wake up & avoid the mirror
as i read the buried headlines
about buried trans women
beauty doesn’t exist
words are bullshit
there is only the anger that keeps you going
out the front door into a world full of knives
there is only the fear you have
of living something like a life
i’ve lived several lives
subsisting on spite & fuck its
the only aesthetic i have left is survival
so if you want to see something truly beautiful
stop killing us
& then stare at the sky & shut the fuck up forever



Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet from California. She is too gay to exist and yet, somehow, she does. She has been published in The Offing, The Feminist Wire, and other places. Her first book “i’m alive / it hurts / i love it” was released by Boost House in 2014. Follow her on Twitter @sadqueer4life.