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September-October 2018

this woman, nokum

Prose by Jaye Simpson

Jaye Simpson

how do i explain my queerness to the gatekeeper of my blood line when she flushed hers out with communion wine and holy water?

how do i explain my ever-shifting body to the woman who prayed for damnation for me, rather than my absolution? my grandmother who held me at birth, has prayed for my end more than my success, she’d done this many times over, begging God that we’d be better off dead, burying two spirit cousins after two spirit cousin- hanging their queer bodies like a slaughtered coyote on

a post as to say “do not come around here no more”.

this woman. does not see the two spirit as hallowed or sacred,
but sees me as crawling out of the mud like a demon to bring forth the end of the world like the four headed beast of Revelations.

this woman. cut down the family tree to build the church where our funerals would be.
this woman. salted the fields where we were meant to grow.
this woman. has never loved a day in her life.

this woman. begged for residential school, etched colonization into her bones, cracked into marrow to write passages out of the bible in her right hand in white blood cell matter.

this woman. broke the bible on my mother’s back, bruised & branded old testament into the flesh of my mother, tried to exorcise intergenerational trauma as if it was some demon.

but holy water does not wine make; yet the gatekeeper of my bloodline flushed hers with communion wine and holy water.

this woman. buried my mother in the colonizer’s church, cut my hair the night before and told me to say my prayers or I’d end up in hell with my mother. told me to be a “good indian, and not cry”.

i would rather outlive her now than explain my queerness, knowing how she’d cast me out, strike my back raw, rip my claim from my mother tongue, flay me in front of the land that birthed our people.

this woman. cut down the family tree to build the church where our funerals would be.
this woman. would rather an empty church and a graveyard full of her children than actually know who we were


This piece is part of a collection of works by trans and queer Indigenous writers and artists. Explore the rest of the feature:

Prose by Kai Minosh Pyle ● Interview with Lindsay Nixon ● Visual art by Fallon Simard ● Interview with Ziibiwan Rivers ● Poetry by Arielle Twist


Jaye Simpson is an Oji-Cree Two Spirit trans woman from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation who is currently residing on unceded Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh territories colonially known as Vancouver. you can find them on the frontlines often or at cafes on commercial drive sending overdue emails. they love owls & bees.

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