a short history of silvering I. in the 1930s we switched from backing mirrors with silver to aluminum this means the vampire went from having no reflection to seeing themself for the first time after being told for centuries, they were what a vampire looks like, they were shocked to find they looked just like everyone else, just with fangs a stranger shouts vampire and everyone grabs a torch all it takes is a too-big smile all it takes is visible queer joy, a borrowed kiss in a back alley, licking a lover’s neck in a bar vampires are known for loving the night, and of course we do, in this dress, it’s always safest to avoid the streetlights II. in the 1980s we stopped using silver for photography, which means now a vampire can post a selfie to Instagram a glitter-chested man holds his boyfriend’s hand walking into a cafe a woman in a sunhat laughs with her girlfriend under a sassafras tree six vampires sip sangria and read Sappho’s fragments and no, this does not mean they have stopped hunting us, but it means we have chosen joy and taken a photograph to remember it, to share it the vampire sees themself reflected for the first time on Instagram and cannot stop smiling a list of minor trans gods (after Owen Glendower) the god of hair dye the god of lip gloss and clear nail polish and makeup wipes in Katrina’s glove compartment before we go in her house the god of clippers, razors, scissors, and kitchen shears the god of everything we have lost the god of hand-me-downs from family the god of hand-me-downs from friends yes, they are two different gods because one affirms the gender the god of whiskey and wine and the god of glue and duct tape and the god of Ace bandages and plastic wrap are all the same god, they are the god of a self-violence they are the god of what we did to survive the god of tucking and the god of binding are different gods, but they are each other’s favorite siblings the god of violets and the god of yellowjackets and bees and hornets the god of honey the god of vinegar the god of not being palatable or easy to swallow the god of opossums and the god of possums are different gods but cis people still get them mixed up the god of raccoons and the god of chipmunks and the god of squirrels and the god of all the love we have buried in this good earth the god of names is one god because god can give a name and god can take it away to replace it with something more fitting the god of a newly planted family the god of growth and leaves the god of bloom the god of love and the god of love and the god of love and this is the holy trinity of all the different loves that have kept me alive.
About the author:
E.J. Schoenborn (they/them) is a white queer & nonbinary trans poet and puzzle designer from rural Wisconsin, though they currently live in Minneapolis, MN. Their poetry has been published by Button Poetry, Defunkt Magazine, Coffee People Zine, Voicemail Poems, the anthology from Moon Tide Press “Dark Ink: A Poetry Anthology Inspired By Horror,” and more. They have a love for florals, opossums, animated tv shows, and horror movies. Their chapbook The Eye Opens about gender, survival, and The Magnus Archives podcast is currently available for preorder from GingerBug Press.