By Iris McCloughan
I had always erred on the side of the voluptuous, but in Swann’s case, I was spiritual. Combray had become a village of agony, so I cast my lot with indiscretion. I got fancy, wearing mended silk. On Rue Papillon it was Mardi Gras, and I went into the pockets of many obstinate men. I had no husband, for a moment, no sorrows either. What I did have was a million senses that were all trying to repeal the form that had been allowed me. I stored things in my cheeks for later. I was replete with anonymous recompense. I was becoming my own roommate, acquainted with better premises in which to observe my own reappearance behind my perfect forehead. The intensity of this dream astonished me, and I was impatient to deem it sealable, a bough of something speaking from beyond shade. My curves were violet, my cruelty outward facing. I resolved in the mirror to continue trying.
Iris McCloughan is a trans writer, artist, and performer in New York. They were the winner of the 2018 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from American Poetry Review, and were named a finalist in Nonfiction for Best of the Net 2020. They are the author of three chapbooks, including Triptych (forthcoming, greying ghost) and Bones To Peaches (2021, Seven Kitchens Press). Their writing has appeared in juked, jubilat, American Poetry Review, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, ANMLY, Denver Quarterly, and elsewhere. They have collaborated with many other artists and writers, including Eiko Otake, Joan Jonas, Mike Lala, Toby Altman, and Julie Mayo.