by Mary Ellen Talley
Imagine that awkward moment when mortals arrive
at my pearly gates only to find I am neither XX nor XY.
I’m tired of being called He, or at times She this century.
Don’t call me It as I’m no inanimate object. I’m frustrated
when the newly dead stand yammering-stammering greetings.
Some straight-faced, even ask me, “Where is your white beard?”
I lose patience at that and chide them: I’m not Santa Claus.
Why have humans been so certain of my almighty gender
in tomes and elixirs of prayer after prayer? It’s tiresome.
But recently I’ve been overhearing better words
as savvy humans, mostly youth, embrace gender options
because they’re propelled to delve into their questions.
I acclaim, proclaim, I aim to join in with their pronouns.
Could change take hold if I pounce – announce in a hip-hop rant:
I exist, persist, neither optimist, pessimist, nor lexicologist.
Neither matriarch nor patriarch. Murky words get on my nerves.
Will I need another stone tablet to make my suggestion stick
as folks attempt to mend semantic habits in today’s languages?
Thanks for asking. Feel free to forward my wish to the populace.
The repair of earthly lexicon is a worthy quest. Please
use and reuse until my pronoun becomes the Zeitgeist.