Image: Shanmukha Inkas, Body Positivity, 2017.
Are you just hoping for me to speak your truth?
As if you could will this matter to death
For even putting this to bed wouldn’t suffice
For how uncomfortable this makes you feel,
How I make you feel
Afraid that you may see a me you don’t recognize,
A part of yourself you did not know you had inside
You, until you gave it away to me.
Part concern, part dread
This world of suits, of binders, of pronouns
Of god forbid surgery
Understanding less and less of me
Like everyday is moving backwards through my life
Until I am only hours old and
Born again into this à propos unfamiliarity
We could start anew into the years that have all been lost
In my head, in my body,
I will my mouth to move, but the words do not wish to be born of this,
To surrender themselves into the world of distance between
You and me
To admit their fragile need
Of holding, warmth, acceptance
I shake and shake
As if a Morse code could make you understand the words
“I am your child”
The last time I gave you words, I gave you me, I gave you truth
And I shivered alone in my car at the beach as the water shivered back
And gave truth to the sun arriving into the world again for the first time
Day after day-
“I am your child,” I start again
“I might not wear a dress, because it’s always felt more of a noose
Than the tie I wear around my neck
Unthreading all the stitches from the fabric,
Sewing them across my chest,
Not like a gruesome rag doll,
But because I feel like
I am unstitching the thread from my mouth
that has always existed to keep me in
“I may change my skin, my clothes, my hair
to the one that matches the way I see myself inside
But I cannot change the blood that runs through my veins.
“I am still the child you carried and held in your arms,
The one you sang to until I could sing back,
Even if my voice isn’t the same anymore.”
These are last words of your former daughter.
“I love you, but I do not need you anymore,
Not in the same fragile way, not in a while.
“I can stand on my own without you
I will live-
no matter how hard you try
To convince me-
Because I know who I am now,
Who I have always been
“I am yours, but I am me”
These are the first words of your child.
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