Faith at the Border: LiraeL O


Today marks the second day of our online symposium, Faith at the BorderWe asked our issue five writers: in what do you place your faith during the act of crossing between places, nations, people, bodies, things, and feelings? And how? We asked that writers be free in their (re)definitions of borders and faith. LiraeL O shares with us her indispensable meditation on the body, borders, and faith. These contributions for Faith at the Border are from our Issue 05 writers. Read their work in Apogee Issue 05, available for purchase now. 


Jupiter, Nica Ross

Jupiter, 2011 Nica Ross

On Faith and Borders, by LiraeL O

It’s all circumstantial
The big reveal
What are you waiting to show the world?
What will life be like after they know all?

The things we ask women to do to their armpits
What’s your stink?

The amount of nervous laughter we engender in women

Faith and borders, faith and transitioning across space, bodies, emotional states etc…

Faith in medical unknowns
Faith in the community that holds me
Faith in the self that holds me
Faith in my carry
Faith in my ability to pay it when I need to
Faith in my sisters
Faith in the unfolding
Each slab of tissue reveals

The epithelial nature of survival. Shed away the dead.

Transition and faith
hold on to what you know is dear
who are you?
what constitutes your faith in yourself?
how do you transform when the flood comes?
how do you not think about each breath?
How does faith get tainted?
Why does it always have to be about passing on your genes?
People love to talk about the evolutionary basis of why we do things when these “evolutionary
impulse” are not really separate from behaviors and psychologies of “modern human”





Armpit hair
Dispersal of odorants
Olfactory neuroepithelium
Limbic system

The epithelial nature of survival. Shed away the dead.

As I learn how to be sexual in this new body, how to find nourishment in this new sexual terrain,
I notice myself tickling old sexual habits with an ontological embodiment that barely existed
before. There were and are tempests in my path across the never ending border across the
never ending valley, but I have a faith in myself to be at peace in the calm and the chaos. This
faith in self in survival in the unfolding was born in and of my transition whose beginning and
ends expand as I grow older. The border bulges as I terraform and recontexualize the history of
my body and biology–a childhood reimagined, an everyday lore of the Bulb told from her future Blooming.

I am announcing my presence and my fertility
The politics of olfaction are everywhere you smell. What constitutes your history of odor? The combined scent and taste of chlorine on my skin- licking her and smelling her. The effluvia of
each and every ripe cock you sniffed as a young teen fucking the desperate masses
staring down the desperate mass in the mirror. I don’t wear deodorant and I haven’t for almost 6 years.
During those years my body underwent several cycles of weight fluctuation as well as a major
full bodied endocrine centered transformation with the introduction of estradiol as well as anti-androgens into my physical emotional spiritual ethereal mythological ephemeral
scatological.The meeting of disgust and pleasure–
What turns you on and what turns you off, the mutability of that dynamic and the way it all
smells when you’re  deep in the throe of its juices.

Read LiraeL O’s poem, “Rumination on She,” in Apogee Issue 05, available for purchase now. 


LIRAEL O is sister to the wraith. The magic of the charter of her birthplace, she picks language from the ethereal plane and sometimes writes it down. LiraeL lives within the ancient walls of the Abhorsen’s House at the end of the Ratterlin (Brooklyn). She is learning about healing bodies, that she may one day become a nurse.

NICA ROSS is a New York based visual artist who works with photo, video and lighting creating pieces that instigate alternate narratives using themes of science fiction, queerness and desire. Nica’s photograph, “Jupiter,” is featured above and in Apogee Issue 05. 

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