féi hernandez

i don’t eat in the morning so there’s something to look forward to later in the day/ i call it intermittent fasting/ my body calls it hunger to live which i ignore/ because when you equipe anebula with a brain/ a limited body/ the wonders you can do to harm your body/ in the quietestand most overlooked/ violences/ i’m used to starving/ there is no food where i’m from/ only angerand fire/ when you catch me grieving/ jaw unlocked/ swallowing the sun know i’m/ intermittent fasting and it’s time to eat/ ignore the trader joe’s rainbow trail mix/ the 50 cent sopa de fideo/and the oatmeal in a garrafón my grandma sent me/ because/ she knows i’m dying /everyone knows i’m dying and they’ve talked about my dieting/ my obsession with breaking generational curses/ but at what expense/ i’m malnourished and the only way to feed my fire/ isto wait till the fires almost out/ or else what’s the point of living



stuff them while i slow sizzle/ on the last twig of firewood/ you can’t tell me this ain’t a way to love/ everyone always like/ make sure you’re ten logs full/ before you can give anyone warmth/ my/ grandmothers ain’t teach me to love like/ that/ they said you eat first/ stuff your face until you feel you/ can make it to witness the next generation/ we’ll hold our hunger till tomorrow/ they said/ we know/ you’re stealing corn meal and selling/ it by the pound at the corner store to buy candy/ but we won’t say/ nothing/ my great grandmother cut into a log/ one day on jesus’s resurrection/ she sliced through the heart/ of the log for firewood/ and blood/ so much blood/ jesus blood/ hungry blood/ there was no animal inside blood/ a sign from above blood/ an omen kinda blood/ and since then the mother’s in the family starve/ therefore me/ therefore our dreams are about food/ eat/ you’re not feeling well/ hazle un consomé/ you’re happy/ here try this capirotada/ you’re in love/ comete un chocolatito/ and every time you give food/ you starve/ this is why i don’t cook just buy food all the damn time/ i cannot put more soul into any meal for others/ anymore/ because that’s all that’s skinny/ i mean left of me/ on cold nights my people/ poor/ only had a fire/ pit to carry/ wherever that went/ home/ wherever that went/ food/ so i’m tired of y’all telling me to/ love myself better/ to fill my cup first then give to others/ bitch/ i’m  splinter of wood sucking on the/ last bit of flame to keep my people fed and alive/ and i’m okay with it/ you tell me how else to love when/ you don’t have anything/ you tell me how to love when you discover that my choice is my full choice all/ the way and you ain’t telling me to be less sacrifice less martyr less fire less angry/ we’re running out of wood/ we’re losing me/ and that’s okay because at least the fire made it thru the winter and the next pine tree has been born/ new mothers to sacrifice and they’ll chop them up into firewood someday too like they did with me/ and hopefully it lasts a lifetime/ but most importantly/ hopefully the younger ones eat real good/ tonight/ and the house stays warm and they can savor their big ass delicious meal of peanuts and oranges/ that’ll get them thru the winter/ 

I cut the lace front, glued it down with GOT2B Glued, wrapped the wig until it cemented onto my forehead, and did my makeup. I feel ALIVE. But I’m hungry. As I step out of the Air BNB excited for a night out I realize I hunger for more life. I’ve had Traumatic Brain Injury flare ups and while they crush me, force me to rest, when I feel neutral, better than in pain, I want to get dolled up. It’s my twenty-ninth birthday and I want to live more. But what does that even mean? How could I live more than I already have? Every day is a literal miracle for someone like me, trans, formerly undocuemted, cute. So I’m in the Lyft and homeboy starts preaching about Catholicism and I zone out into thinking about the constant flare ups I’ve had this past year, how horrible they are and how sneaky they are and attack when I least expect them. COVID-19 didn’t take me or my whole family out, but the car accident I was in surely has left its mark. I take vitamins, hydrate, and have to be mindful of light, its intensity and the way it can strobe lands and ends me on a nauseating trip where I can’t even stand upright. I need to rest my brain, therefore not overthink, and avoid at all costs to trigger my post traumatic stress disorder. Good luck with that, féi. I hunger to be better, to be more than this disability, but this is a friend who will live and die with me. I am disabled and truth be told, the TBI diagnosis wasn’t where this began. I have in utero PTSD, I have lived with dissociation my whole life, and now even on more grounded emotional days, I drift past my body because I wake up nauseated. I tilt my head slightly down and the world spins. I’m learning to control the silent flight within me. I try to find balance amidst all that moves. The Lyft drops me off and I realize I am hungry. I haven’t been eating well. Sometimes I eat a lot and am still hungry. Sometimes I don’t eat and my hunger gets spooked and won’t come back. It depends on the day. But regardless, everything affects my TBI flare ups. I think about my eating disorder when I was younger. Obsessive and heavy weight High Interval Intermittent Training. Running three to six miles daily. And little to no eating. I was “intermittent fasting.” I get taken back, way back to when an older friend of mine in high school used to steal diet pills for me. Herbalife. Silence. No self worth or love. Are we back to where we started? No, shake it off féi, you’re out! I order an Adios. Should I be drinking? I allow the world to see me, hungry for more life. My wig is popping, My body is snatched! Although I don’t have a consistent eating schedule, I have been working out mindfully, eating less junk, and being graceful with my journey, right? I don’t black out, but I’ll skip to the morning after. I’m throwing up bile, like never before. Hunched over the toilet I thought about all the younger versions of me who would end up hunched on the toilet the same way because I experienced strong emotions. At least that’s what my Abuelita always said about throwing up bile, it’s due to triggering situations, mal de ojo, or striking emotions. Thank TransGod I don’t have a TBI flare up right now. I only drank because I deserve to celebrate my twenty ninth birthday I didn’t think I’d make it to! Why must everything I live lead me back somewhere else! I go another round of releasing bile from my body. I hate that bitter, sour, burn. But maybe I deserved it. Maybe it’s the fact that all the cis gay men at the bar didn’t want me there. Did I even like gay men? I don’t even know what my sexuality is, at this point in my transition! I hunched over and released the last bit of bile until I fell asleep. I woke up craving a McDonald’s hash brown. I never crave McDonalds, I hate it since watching Super Size Me in Middle School. I hadn’t had McDonalds for ages. Sluggishly I undressed to get in the shower. I remembered how it was clockwork for Mami to take me to McDonalds anytime she was around and anytime I wanted. It was her way of consoling me after the long hours we didn’t get to spend together, because she worked all day, most days. I drank a Herbalife protein shake and a metabolism enhancing tea after the shower. I felt bald without my wig. Why’d you cut your long mane, féi! Why do you do this to yourself! I picked up my platform bootsies from here, and there. I gently put my wig in its net, hung the dress from the night before and continued to stay inward. There are tons of people here celebrating you! Activate them in your reflection. No. Not yet. I’m still healing. As I get into some high waisted black shorts and a tube top I’m taken to the legacy of hunger running in my bones. And yes, I’m taken there, because even if I don’t feel like time travelling right now I’m taken there, to see something I need to continue surviving today, tomorrow, days to be. I don’t hear the laughter, splash, and or the preparations for a delicious lunch later. Everything is nauseating. I want to be present for the people here for me, so I need to dig quicker. I ended up confronting whoever keeps taking me. I can see Abuelita cracking open the shell of peanuts on Christmas day. Slowly digging her small fingers into the skin of an orange and being mesmerized by the spray of orange during the coldest snow storm she had ever experienced in Madera. Time warps and I find myself floating over a hill where I see Abuelito as a kid, shoeless, waltzing through the coffee bean hills. He uses his shirt to hold the coffee beans he picked and gets to a grinder. Slowly drops them into the top, like grains of sand into an hourglass, and begins to grind the beans, slowly, over and over again. Splash! I’m pushed into the pool and I’m all bursts of laughter. I want to swim, I want to kick off the edges of the pool  like a professional swimmer and beat my friends in swimming races, but I’m hungry. A hunger pang strikes me, slices diagonally on my body. I am now in a recurring dream. I am down hill amidst skinny pine trees. The world is blue, because the moon says so and there is the great tatara Abuela, high up above. Appearing and disappearing up the mountain, I follow behind her. She’s the one taking me. She wants to show me something. The closer I get to her the more I realize she’s made of clay or wood or roots, or a mixture of all of them. She has trenzas and is a playful kind of sinister. I’m set on catching her, but she’s always at arm’s length, and even as I dreamwalk or rather dream run, I’m exhausted, but I call on the legs of the Raramuri, the tire rubble sandal runners, winners of olympic races, to get me as close as possible. Great tatara Abuela lets me catch her at the tip of the hill. She sticks a purple-blue capulin in my mouth, a bruise-black cherry, the size of an eye. Salicifolia. Salicifolia. Salicifolia. What I see from atop the hill turned mountain top is a valley of stars and the Basaseachic waterfall, Las Barrancas del Cobre, my grandparent’s fossil of a home, I see The Rails, my “secret” spot at Marina Del Rey and the beautiful expansive ocean. I can see Mami and dad in his pick up truck, looking at cumulus clouds passing by the open blue Chihuahuan sky, fully in love. I see Anahuac high up above, on a cloud. To the bottom right is Cuauhtemoc. La Junta, the point where the highway breaks into a million veins. Campos Menonitas near the bottom left and El Chepe, Chihuahua’s mighty train cutting through Laguna Bustillos and I realized I was only starving myself. All of our history, sustenance, all of our land was within me and I no longer have to pause my life to remember or hold, or continue or breath.

féi stepped into the rest of their life and they are no longer hungry.