by Rebecca Martin
At one point, there was an evolutionary reason to be afraid of something that looked human
but wasn’t. A man can perform humanness in the ways that matter on surveillance footage. That
doesn’t mean dirt collects reliably beneath his fingernails, a map leading to all he’s buried and
re-buried. On film, time traveling requires a gash torn, a ripping open of fabric or otherwise violent
disruption. In this way a movie with no women in it can be about women. After I gave a talk on labor
organizing and collective action, one of the buttons holding my skirt together plummeted to the
classroom floor. I found it there days later, after I’d walked all the way home worrying my hemline,
watching for car headlights on wet leaves at the mouth of the grocery store. The button: green,
round, puckered in the middle. A tiny, perfect planet. No women singing under a frozen lake. No
man, turn signal blinking, slowing his car beside me.
Rebecca Martin (she/they) creates poetry that centers embodied queer femme experience through the personal, familial, and political, simultaneously in conversation with and troubled by the parameters of history, archive, and myth. Their work has most recently appeared or will appear in Peach Mag, Good Luck Have Fun Press, Muzzle Magazine, Cotton Xenomorph, Dream Pop Press, Birdcoat Quarterly, Pretty Owl Poetry, and others, and received an Honorable Mention in the 2022 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. They are a recent graduate of Oregon State University's MFA program, where they were awarded the Graduate Creative Writing Award in Poetry and served as poetry editor for literary magazine 45th Parallel and department steward for their graduate employee union. She currently teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh.