No semblance of real resolution
Just stories and faces and masks I put on
Confusion after confusion.
Like a race for some distinction,
For some easy marker to slap on,
But there is nothing.
When I was born my father had raised 5 sons.
My mother birthed 5 daughters.
I was the one to tip the scale towards female,
And my mother never let me forget the happiness
of having her last child be a girl.
I grew up in the shadow of these lives led before me.
Seeing every turn of events,
Their failures, their joys,
As if I could pretend
To live these lives so fully as them.
But I kept a safe distance
And simply watched, instead.
My best friend died at age 7
And he was buried in a cape.
The wake was full of faces I didn’t know
And I didn’t quite understand where he went.
For months I scribbled with crayon him as a hero,
Wearing the same cloak he was buried in,
And I was his trusty sidekick.
But, I never did like dressing up much.
My mother was always so insistent.
When I wanted to be a witch, she made me an angel.
Nearly every Halloween ended in tears,
And I had just wanted to be someone else.
But every time
She laid a gentle hand on my head
And praised me for being such a wonderful girl,
I remember this age old twist in my gut.
The stings and pricks just beneath skin.
I remember all the ways in which I wanted to change.
The way I dreamt of having a bit more between my thighs,
Thinking my father would love me like he did my brothers.
All the ways I pulled and twisted at skin and hair and
Cursed what I had been given.
I remember the meals skipped and those hidden away.
Gangly legs, thin and frail,
Tiny, narrow hips
Poking, prodding bones
Shame after shame
Never closer to feeling free
And I wondered when I stopped being a sidekick,
Worthy of any heroism at all
But there was beauty to be discovered in the fantasy.
In the dreams of childhood curiosity.
To plunge in to the darkest depths,
To pull out all that had once been repressed.
All of the self.
And I know now that I am boundless
I am not to be fit in to one neat box
I am every choice, every option,
I am my own hero and heroine
I am infinite.
And when I walk on any given street,
The beat of my anxious heart reminds me:
I am alive
In this body.