I wish I was a boy
I wish I had a deep voice and big hands
Was tall enough to wrap my arms around her shoulders
How they see me, parents of the girl who I love more than I thought possible,
They see my long hair, my eyes rimmed with makeup meeting hers, our electric gaze which makes them prickle so much them must look down. I feel guilty.
When I speak to her, the room hardens to sharp edges.
I regret thatI spoke, but I want them to know I am warm behind this icy air.
And when she says my name their fists clench, her mother’s heart cracks like a plate put down too hard on the table. My love sees me, they watch her watch me and it aches in everyone like sore bellies on the train, nothing to be done. But she likes you, she assures me as we walk home.
I don’t want to flip my hair, or have long nails, or wear a dress. I don’t want to be pretty.
Remind them of the option of a man foregone but easily accessed. It is what the good do.
I am a shell, alien in my skin which prickles by their discomfort
I know they are trying, as we gaze at my love’s sleeping body on this grey hospital bed.
Our guts mangled, unified in silent horror and hope that this woman we love will be without pain. We aren’t speaking.
I am full of devotion.
And to you too, mother, I will soften the callous of how you were brought up with the way that I am and how I love your daughter.
And to you, father, my heart swells with respect and I will always tread carefully.
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NOT A PLUS ONE