I should have known because she’d lit a candle- no one lights a candle without some kind of intent. They’re symbolic markers of the passage of time; it would be karmically careless to burn them without a reason to.
But my willful ignorance has gotten me into loads of tight spots: I dress for the weather I want, not the weather it is.
She was painting her nails and she blew on one as the man on TV teared up, eyelid flickering.
“Do you think he’s lying?” I asked, as if this stranger’s life were a card I’d been dealt to judge.
She’d lit this big candle and it was just sitting in the middle of the table, like, here it is, I want to fuck you. And I couldn’t help thinking the whole time about this conversation I’d had about how it’s bullshit that a woman is supposed to capitalize on sex, like it’s still an economic equation where it’s all she has to sell and gain by, and yet, I saw that candle and felt like I was probably going to give something away for free.
“I think if you feel like a woman, then you are. I believe in that,” she said.
Not a woman, I thought: you can’t decide to be a woman, can you… you can’t know what it is until you live with the certitude that someone could insert a new life into your own body… the uterus, soil for colonization…
I took her from the front, time burned, and the next day my hair smelled just like the candle and I wondered how much it had cost her.
“Haven’t you ever looked in the mirror and known that the person that you are is more attractive than the face looking back?” she asked.
“Are we attacking my looks now?” I said.
“No, see, who we are is more important than what we are. That’s why we’re different from animals. That’s why we can be women without uteri, or men with them.”
colour by Marcus Denomme
Dénommé is currently based in the Coast Salish Territories of so-called Canada, Marcus Dénommé’s works use abstraction to disrupt and critique institutional norms.
Coming from a background in street art, Dénommé’s multi-disciplinary work ranges from expressionist drawing/painting, to relief and estisol printmaking techniques, to performance art, and can be recognized widely throughout Canada.
Their work has been displayed in the Foundation Exhibition at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2015), and all the way to the public murals of Haileybury, Ontario (1995).
Dénommé seeks to engage with the communities in which he is living, and to use art as an accessible voice against patriarchal colonialism.