Exhibition Notes: Chacoan Peccary in Wedding Dress

Acrylic and drugstore mascara on canvas. The peccary, once considered extinct, is unimpressed and unshaven. Womanhood frothing around it like a burst condom. The artist is known for their past work on denial: self-portrait as lingerie strung with tightrope wire, as breast unspooling into caution tape. The technique is called sgraffito, or scraping the truth out from under its own skin. Alternative title: Something blue, or the sky when the school bully told me to get a sex change and every parent laughed. In the Times, a hunter describes the peccary as “not only tasty, but easy to kill.” The article opens with a trunk show of skeletons, bones poking through the dust like corset stays. The peccary is endangered because it keeps returning to the scene of the crime, keeps refusing to abandon its dead. Alternative title: The first time a man called me good girl, I buried what I had been becoming. The peccary doesn’t give a fuck about perspective. The peccary is eating all the wax apples. The peccary is taking the brush up to paint fossils: desert as graveyard of the body’s softness, marriage as graveyard of the body’s fictions to itself. We were never extinct, it says. We knew we were there all along.

Black and white headshot of the author, A.M. Guay, smiling and with short dark hair and glasses.

Loren Maria Guay is a poet and speculative fiction writer, with poems previously published in West Trade Review, Breakwater Review, Longleaf Review, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. Born in Asunción, Paraguay and raised in Brooklyn, they currently live in Chicago and can be found at lmguay.com or on Twitter and Bluesky @nightgleaming.