“Its pronoun is it.”
Pronouns are as muscles, little mice.
When they contract ourselves, it moves,
Shifting me, flickering under your skin,
Their movement icky, unsettling, bewitching.
Gender is the least of it. One never knows
When I am not I or when you are one.
When society shifts and language lags,
There’s hardly a forum left isn’t awkward.
Somehow only the poets and Quakers clung
To thee and thine, although thou can’t be
Sure there isn’t a ye buried in each one
Of yeh or all of yuh. That sounds cute now,
But y’all should yet feel the stigma youse
Carry, hardly all or none of the burden.
Pronouns are conservative terms that mind
Our ps and qs for many generations, then
Inevitably, as with any effort at conservation,
Come to naught. I can’t stand it and neither
Can we. Everything haunts everyone.
The problem lies with counting’s lies.
A class of anything or anyone is always lying
At least a little. What are we one or two
Or many of us that all of them we are, me
And you included, count as idem, the same?