Excerpt from A Place Called No Homeland by Kai Cheng Thom  


some people also called it the Twinky Without a Winky, or occasionally, The Dickless Wonder. it didn’t mind. it never wanted for other names. it never knew anything different. it lived in cornersincupboardsin holes in the wall. it knew a lot about holes. the things that hide there. the things that get stuck inside them. it spent nights in the grickle-grass garden its parents had stopped planting long ago. stood with its bare feet in the dirt wish-whispering at the moon, make me precious. make me lovely. make me unlonely. make me a star. like Gollum, like Ginsberg, like gratitude, like grace.

i am with you
in Eden
where the serpent is longing for adam
i am with you
in Eden
with your fruit caught in my throat

it wondered about the hollow space. the gap. the GAPING HOLE where its penis could have been. could have, not should have, because there was so much potential in that piece of virgin real estate. so many options to try. a bouquet of roses (de-thorned, of course) or a tiny zoo of origami unicorns. the Boy Without A Penis liked to curl up in corners and dream up cinematic fantasies all featuring the Place Between its Legs. like smuggling diamonds across the border. a handful of gemstones blazing inside its body like hidden fire. in the place where a penis could have been. the Boy stored memories and sunbeams and secrets and dust. stories that were not about emptiness but about growing about changing and being whole.

i am with you
in the Homeland
where my spirit is waiting for the body it left behind
i am with you
in the Homeland
a flower tucked between my thighs

the Boy Without A Penis wanted to know things. and see things. it wanted to laugh
loud and long and raucously without fear of shame. it wanted sushi. and sex. possibly but not necessarily at the same time. it craved the sensations of touching and heart-pounding and shivering in the rain. it wanted to learn about stuff. all the stuff
like what makes the wind howl and moan in pleasure or fear. how
to give people orgasms. how to grow tomatoes and the name of the person who lives in the moon. so it struck out on its own, left cupboards and corners and grickle-grass behind, to seek out wider places. whistling a song to the wind
oh, oh, the places i’ll go. the places i’ll see, the loves that i’ll know.
oh, oh, the places i’ll go. and the wind whispered back

beware, beware, there are wolves out there.

beware of wolves in the wide world.
i am with you
in Avalon
looking for dreams in the mist
i am with you
in Avalon
remembering the future we had

the Boy Without A Penis walked up hill and down dale through bush through briar. it went to cities. scouring concrete canyons and the thumping underground. looking for a job for sex for beauty for blow. everywhere it went people wanted to know: where was its penis? they didn’t understand about holes. about sunbeams and secrets and memories and dust and they were disgusted by the scent of grickle-grass that still clung to its skin. “go home,” they said, “no offense, but you’re just not a good fit here.” they said, “it’s not that i’m intolerant, but there’s just no way i could ever work with you, be friends with you, want you, have sex with you. it’s not that you’re ugly you’re just not attractive to me.” they said, “a person like you will get eaten up by wolves. you had better go home, where you can hide.” and the Boy Without a Penis, starving, began to wonder, for the first time, about power. the Boy began to wonder, for the first time, about rage. stories began to blossom. crimson-coloured between its thighs.

i am with you
in Rockland
where a storyteller
is screaming our names
i am with you
in Rockland
and your skin tastes
like rebellion

the Boy With No Penis began to put sharp things in the place where a penis could have been. it started with pushpins. then thumbtacks needles and then knives. a collection of razor words to carve the shape of the truth of its desires. the Boy ran through alleys and climbed gates and stole what it needed at night. it learned to fight like a wild thing to wait in the dark for the predators to come and stab them with the blades it kept hidden in itself. it listened to the echoes of the howling of the wolves and wish-whispered to the moon, “make me dangerous. make me strong. make me untouchable. make me whole.”

i am with you
in Gomorrah
where angels are raining fire
i am with you
in Gomorrah
with a mouthful of ashes in my kiss

they hunted the Boy With No Penis. hunted it the way they hunt wolves. with poison and cages and torches and guns but they never found it. never caught it. never killed it they never could. they tell terrifying stories about the things it does in the dark. “it makes love to monsters,” they murmured, “it eats small children and runs a drug-smuggling gang and keeps a machine gun cocked in its crotch.” some of the stories are obviously false. some of them are true. some of them are becoming true now. the Boy With No Penis is waiting, is watching is biding its time. a pack of wolves runs, howling prophecies at its back. it is waiting for strange and rare creatures who have always known its name. it is waiting for time to tell. stars to fall. war to start. it is waiting for monsters and for Moloch. the signs of the bones. it is waiting for you.

i am with you in blood i am with you in ashes
i am with you in memory
i am with you in dust
i am with you
i am with you
i am with you
we are here

  

 

Finalist_Thom, Kai-Cheng
Kai Cheng Thom 
is a writer, performance artist, and psychotherapist. She has been widely published as an essayist and poet, and is currently a feature writer at Everyday Feminism. Thom is the author of the poetry collection A Place Called No Homeland and the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, for which she was nominated for a Lamba Literary Award. She lives in Toronto.




A-Place-Called-No-Homeland by Kai Cheng Thom

This is an excerpt from
A Place Called No Homeland.
Copyright © 2017 Kai Cheng Thom. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher.
All rights reserved.

 

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