Natural Causes

Abigail Hansel

I had a dream

I had a dream I was an old woman

I had a dream I was an old woman dying not of murder or of suicide but of old age. Natural causes.

I looked so beautiful and so old after a hearty life filled with pasta, sunshine, good sex, revolution, liberation, champagne on the beach, marigold and pussywillow and a tacit understanding of how to align oneself with feeling, letting the harmonics of it sound about in the atriums, pits and cavities of the body. Good health. A lifetime of tits and ass. Here I knew this implicitly as I watched my body outside myself. Fizzy canticle crowded the duplicity no wonder none of it anymore a silo a grotto a terrible non-believing

shift in the blur how it gripped the steering wheel

of my memory for more purchase

I made it up

the dream is real because my

head is made of meat. I had a full set of nails so that I did not have to do tasks. Made up all fibrous shim and

fern glowing and the cottonwood rises. Femme in the glade the field. My head was made of meat and the image of what my life was hadn’t settled the words hadn’t a home or a hole to rest their breaths. The causes are

natural. Even if I don’t believe it there it is. The causes were natural. Age and spit. This is how my dreams are. Chunked semiosis turgidly reflexing the woman in my mind

her epic phallus

now flat as a board

filched of particulars

natural like the causes a woman is an alarm

breast projecting red sounds

showy prim not glad

or tongue-like thicker

more of an echo into the

taste. Inside the dream I saw it

a naturality

a cause

a “future” I’ve been making with two


an opportunity to have my heart quit in soundless nanosecond.

My form

on immaculate bedspread. A preening light challenged my collarbone. A sparrow flew through the window of the grand estate, advancing the moment, tipping the horizon toward, beyond the sea of tall grass outside my bedchamber. Natural causes. All the pollen inside the air holographically — all of the senses already new dimensioning free of the bodies’ paltry frocked wind.

I was in France I think. Or some approximation of luxury that felt distinctly French. The word “French”.

a task of imagination I’ve never been to France or anywhere really but here in dreaming I had been everywhere and had loved holes into the day and had worn an invisible gilt bandolier all my life that had protected me trepanating my minutes so that a grossly human “Culture of relation” could flood in. A cause that was natural. This grand and stately reciprocity that men in cloaks had only whispered about in the flecked shadowy relief of parliamentary halls, in the dulcet anechoic chirp of the internet, and the university’s merchandised PDF — how it reached into the land making a project.

On my immaculate bedspread in the

richly textured corridors of my

anonymous patron’s palatial stronghold right before my head

breached the velveteen hole my life exits through

I thought of a summer in my youth where I fixed my disjunction with a turn like the volta appearing after obtuse numeral of octave and sestet the causes were not natural then two blocks of sun revolved a quarter westward an hour simply and without pretense. The day hardened like an old donut.

I matched with another trans girl on tinder who wouldn’t stop calling me “hun” and it poisoned me and I felt small and modular like a Pok√©mon or a typeface. Later I took nude photographs of myself on my phone marketing and selling them online making sure to click the private button that made the monies invisible to onlookers and a person with an advanced seeming gender sent me filthy direct messages after the transaction was completed which is usually frowned upon but whatever I had nothing to do and was staring at an impossibly green field as a cow crested the bilge of the grade signaling to myself that the environs in which I live are too pastoral for their own good and I felt as if my sex changed just then

dark jewels glinting under coats of rock

signage of

how I appeared in the visual field: obtuse terrific equation running away from its sum. Behind my eyelids there is red sound the woman is an alarm filched

of particulars her epic phallus and bunny brown dirt elsewhere w/ the wind. I can repeat it and imagine many smells.

Back in the castle it was happening.

I saw the dark well water of the next life it felt so good

like moonbeam tincture

pure nature emotion

free of parabens or

sulfates. The soul going into the centrifugal edges becoming the word

“Gone” in pink text

wayward stone forgiving the sun for

the heat it has cast.

Cooling off in the shadow of the other ghosts

who have stopped now just outside in the courtyard near the topiary to bring their jigsaw shadows together one last time

to dredge up their purple boats filled with all the lists of desires and penetrations wires and words wound about the throat fathers mothers wine stains on the carpet a woman crying in the next stall over the lost wallets and expired licenses and receipts for prescriptions filled on valentine’s day history’s fatal charge the timbre-less face of Diocletion and the abdicated gaze seeking its own tail and the chaos of the body before it was revised with an image in the mind and the soothing effect of the image beheld in reality after the revision was rooted, the dashcam videos, and makeup tutorials, and the poem which tried to contain everything because even at the end of life duration and loss were experienced anew in the moment they were made deep in the bowels of the mind

I listened up again

accounting for this rhapsodic tone

a woman is an alarm

work and work and then your body stops

even if you knew beauty as if it were your name the scalp gets morgue color to it a changeling dumbbell is held to the chest finally first fluid then vapor through that threadbare stem of the word

I am not its keeper but I have seen it

I must go

wake view a girl I love backlit by cumulous clouds

soft ear immaculate bedspread literal bulb between dark weft talons all I have to tell and to be told

Abigail Hansel is a transsexual woman and poet from Idaho. Her work has appeared in OROBORO and SPORAZINE. You can follow her on Twitter @lacerating_wish.