Not Your Binary: A QTPOC Reading Column – A Reading of Jayy Dodd’s “Narcissus Stunts for the Void & Becomes a Flower”

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In embodying the Greek god Narcissus, Jayy Dodd’s speaker in “Narcissus Stunts for the Void & Becomes a Flower” is unapologetically assured in themself: “i am a genius & i won’t say that again.” The significance in Narcissus as a medium of expression for the “self” comes from the admiration of one’s own beauty. That is, the speaker’s self-love is not an object of shame or vanity, but acceptance:

before i knew what i was, I WAS, & knowing was the best thing for me.
yet, after knowing what i am, i am, & will be: all i have left.
i am the coagulation of so much wonder.

The speaker’s confidence communicates a conscious truth. On top of becoming cognizant of “self,” the speaker establishes an affinity between the perception of their identity and their body:

this body been a bxtch, i just call her one now.

Jayy Dodd’s speaker validates the feelings behind the fluidity of gender—regardless of the outer performance. The speaker asserts the ability to accept their presence in this world as their own awareness, never relying on the “comprehension” of those around them:

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