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Airplane Weather (for Transgender Day of Remembrance) by Taylor Berieter

When the grind of this life breaks your bone to dust

and the walls cave in like closet doors

raise the cape of your riddled skin against the rising splinters

and beg.

This is what living is:

taking crumbling wood

and bits of bone

and making it fly.

It is skin finding sky.

bone learning wind

learning howl

learning survive in this torrent of flesh somehow.

I don’t know how.

When people can’t tell if my gender is tornado or hurricane

whether I am lethal weather or clouds here just make it rain

wind seems scary. Even with a cape and super powers

I can’t think of anything else but dying–

how airplanes could come along just to kill me.

I’ve seen airplanes speak through weather veins

talking about ghosts like they never needed bodies to begin with.

I’ve smelled jet fuel burning black trans bodies back to blood on pavement.

I’ve heard turbines blame blood for having trans bodies

and veins to kill open in the first place.

“Stop deceiving us with your sinful skin”, they say, “We know there’s red in you. We want it out.”

Never mind their lilting blades looking for a home inside your coffin-bones

your temple of turbulent weather

your tombstone flesh

turned mural onto concrete.


are a brilliant artist.

You paint the world around you

in glitter, and rainbows

and blood because

You know that blood makes better glue

than pride.

That marches pulse louder with open veins

to remind everyone of all the paintings

that our streets hide in their skin.

I never knew that ink could burn like flames

or that they had so much in common with airplanes.

I’ve always heard that the pen is mightier than the sword

which would make newspapers deadlier

than being skewered alive by a cloud of razor blades.

It is a fact that it is impossible to tell

how many transgender women are killed each year

because the media refers to them as cross-dressers

or men in dresses.

It is a fact that this equation of sex, gender and gender-expression by the media

helps fuel a culture where trans bodies are seen as less than human.

So this is a poem to all the bleeding kites of skin and bone

crashing into pens

like wind into airplanes.

Scream fire

Scream blood

Scream concrete

Scream bone

Scream until your lungs blow airplanes back

into blueprints.

Light the night on fire with the tornado-friction of your insides.

Be weather

Be closet doors flying open above airplanes

raining art into their blades

like blood

like floods of bone and flesh

like super heroes ripping blade from turbine

crashing turbine into cockpit

into pilot

into the newspaper of his fucking eye

that knows exactly what boiled blood looks like

stained onto streets like pictures

like paintings

like ink burning misgendered flames into obituaries

I’ve always heard that the pen is mightier than the sword

but when a trans kid cuts their flesh free of blood

with a razorblade

what does deadly look like, exactly?

When do letters become airplanes?

A massacre of metal and death—

A vehicle for other people’s blood

ripping from their chests.

And after cleaning up the rubble of closet doors and bone

after the spark of cape and nimble flesh

pitter out like candles dying in the wind

tonight, we remember what crying

and screaming

and begging


About the Author

Taylor Bereiter is a graduating senior majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Queer Studies. Taylor identifies as a queer trans woman and goes by she/her pronouns. Taylor enjoys her time doing people things, like staring out of windows and breathing. In her free time, she also enjoys existing places.