by Rise (Nerissa Osby) they/them

There seem to be more questions than answers these days as I heal 
I want to not hate all the people for the ways they’ve betrayed my body
I’m assuming you’re assuming I mean sexually as most of us do 
First rule of crip sex is not to assume 🙂
What if I told you disability lives everywhere in the body?
That fluids freak me out and im ashamed of that?
That I still feel the hand on my right cheek uninvited?
Feels like a part of me separated forever an i wish it back daily 
I dont fuck to numb i fuck to feel
Uncoordinated an free an if we fall off the bed so be it 
I’ve done it just reaching for my phone

What if I told you disability an trauma live in the same building?
Separated by one floor

Elevator works when it feels like
My body works when it feels like 
Spend most of my energy walking stairs 
Its been four years lord
I haven’t practiced saying no as much as I want and i am ashamed of that
I want to tell you about the doctors too but I’m not there yet 
I want to cum in the arms of someone I love without crying but im not there yet 
I want to love and be loved in return before touch is even on the table but were not there yet

Haven’t located my sense of urgency 
Haven’t stopped bonding over borders 
Haven’t redefined desire yet
the answer is connection but still, there’s some questions about urgency i haven’t got to 
But I wrote about it under the full moon in my journal on my nightstand so we’ll see

This is not a witch hunt or call out
You have to preface that now 
But a body remembering 
A body living to tell a story
Fragmented an still whole
A body changed and changing 
I have to tell you these things before we lay down 
That remembering is re-membering
All tainted limbs come alive underneath safe touch
I have to tell you 
I’ve learned to channel my OCD through solid boundaries so you don’t have to worry about me getting up every 5 minutes to move the lamp
I’ll tell you a secret tho
Sometimes I miss the tapping 
And, I know control is an illusion 
But god I wish for it daily


I have to tell you some things before we lay down 
Cus I might need your help laying down 
Unbuttoning, unzipping, sliding off
Make no mistakes 
My needs are still strengths 

Everyday is a test 
Octavia, Saint of the impossible written into word
Says: “but there are new suns”

I can tell you 
I blaze best in bed
Me and my aches stay up all night swapping stories 
Whispering riddles only ribs can solve
I have to tell you this in case you’re an early riser
In case you think I won’t survive without you 
Me an my dreams been
non monogamous for a while 
I know how to shine alone 

I have to tell you this because I am not a broken thing

But I am permanently sore 
Smell of eucalyptus, lavender oil
Peppermint, earl grey, rosemary tea
Reek of 5 days no shower 
5 days no food 

I have a question for you
What you know about the nuance of submissive?
The blessing of a tongue between index an middle finger?
A head back a throat exposed?
A surprise spasm on half the body? 
What you know about lifting a body?
Albuterol after an orgasm?
About talking through mania?
What you know about me?
I have to tell you this so you are not surprised 
I have to tell you this so you know how to navigate a universe wrapped in flesh 
I have to tell you this in case you see the occasional star fly by an burn mid air 
I know death an she knows me well
I am all moon and madness 
The volcano an the lava 
An the green beneath 
An the burnt soil still, breathing
You don’t need to know how disabled people have sex to fuck me right 
Aint a article on this earth can tell you what I know about the criss crossing of pain an pleasure 
I’m telling you this
Cus I dont know you yet 
But if our skin so happens to slip between cracks, 
If we look up an find ourselves entangled together, 
If we promise to see each other as is,
If I caress your face an it feels like home to you,
If the suns rises an we still in bed, 
Would you like pancakes? Or toast?

Rise (Nerissa Osby) 

Pronouns they them


Rise (they/them) is a Black genderfluid disabled femmeboi from living on Potawatomi territory (Chicago). Everything is always changing and that’s what they love about themselves, their writing journey, and words in general. Currently, they write from the lens of creating home, embracing rage, simmering love and being deeply committed to their imagination. Imagination as home. Imagination as safety and protection. Imagine to escape for a minute, to cope.. Imagination to believe that the world hella Black and Brown folks have been pushing for is already here, tiny fragments lined in gold, growing a foundation conducive to thriving. Imagination as realism/magical realism. Imagination to directly say what needs to be said when the actual story is to hard to tell.


Venmo: Nerissa-O

Cashapp: $riseriseshine

Insta: @riotous_roots

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