An 'I' in search of an 'am' in search of a sentence that completes a self, but the full stop has gone missing or becomes an ellipsis that is life itself was how I once tried to describe it to myself in those agonising final few years. Journalling my way through the hyphenlands of race, and scaling that high alpine ridge where the valleys of straight and gay drop away on either side, I arrived at the false crest of a life well- but half-lived. The true summit was still ahead and it was only there that my fallen crest could be retrieved. At every fork in the trail, a new me peeled away from the old, a whole series of selves accumulating in spacetime, like a cocktail party in the fifth dimension. Every possible self was there, one of whom wasn't a man at all. The men felt periodic unease with their assignment in life, to perform the masculinity expected of them, but only the woman broke free at that crucial choice-point: to make a life for herself in those alluring alpine meadows, or to forge on ahead where a virtual-reality ghost train would make apparent her feminine body to herself, estradiol even more so, and she would find that her name wasn't really Marco but Loma, meaning 'knoll' in Spanish but also a genus of fungi; an anagram of loam, that most desirable and fertile of soils; and a contraction of Paloma, meaning dove, that messenger bird and symbol of peace, heralding a new peace within herself, and what she had named her alter-ego in her journals before she discovered that she wasn't actually an alter-ego, but her very self in waiting. She gave birth to herself up on that mountain, hatching herself through labour and recognising herself for the first time, not as a contranym or contradiction or mistake, but as a woman, worthy of that word and of the joy at having arrived. I knelt down to gather up my long-lost crest and beheld it for a moment before fixing it back in place on top of my head. I felt a tingle in my feathers, flipped over to a new page in my journal, and life began again.
Loma Cuevas-Hewitt (she/they/siya) lives on the banks of the Parramatta River on the unceded lands of the Wallumedegal people of the Darug Nation.
She also lives in the borderlands of race, gender and sexuality, being a proudly queer nonbinary womxn of colour of Filipinx and Caucasoid ancestry.
She works as a researcher and moonlights as a trans liberation warrioress and aspiring prose poet.