My big sister and me.
Begin at the beginning:
Heartbeat thump. Warm. Enveloped.
Then into bright light, and cold air, and rushing sound.
Hard plastic. Soft cotton.
I’m in my body. I feel it.
My legs and my arms, my torso and my genitals; this is me.
I am naked. I am strong. I am endless.
Then come the expectations:
Pinks and blues. Rules. Confinement.
And I am foreign to myself. My mother’s child.
Hard inside. Soft outside.
I leave my body. I tell it:
You keep me alive; expect me to ignore you now. You’re not me.
I am naked. I am wrong. I am monstrous.
I am not my encasement.
Flesh and bone? Stone. Fossilized.
This is the cage and the condition of my life.
Hard border: Head/Body.
I am ambitious. I play it:
I’m really a guy inside this female body, right? This is me.
I don’t say it, but it’s heard. Somehow it works.
There are no limitations.
Gender roles? No. Not really.
The modern era lets me do just as I wish.
Hard headed, soft hearted.
I move through phases. I try on:
The hard rocking chick who’ll fuck you and ignore you, twice. But it’s not me.
I find women and it clicks; I must be gay.
I give up playing music.
Tits and ass were essential.
I cut my hair and throw away my makeup kit.
Hard choices; soft landing.
I find a partner. I believe:
We’ve fallen in love and it will last until I die. Then she cheats.
Seems I’m not quite butch enough, ironically.
I get an education:
Everyone wants a penis.
Read de Beauvoir and turn into a feminist.
I find a partner. I believe:
I want to be loved and she is there to play the part. It won’t last.
Eight years in, we burst apart explosively.
I move to California.
Nothing left to hold onto.
One resume and suddenly I’m teaching class.
Hard binders. Paper stacks.
I meet my wife and I believe:
My luck has kicked in and I have settled into life. At last love.
Fourteen years go by before it gets to me.
The momentary traumas:
Lavatories, fitting rooms.
They double check the posted sign when they see me.
Hard staring. Paper towels.
I hate my body more and more.
Now I’m growing old and I am running out of time. My fate’s sealed.
There’s no reason to go on repeatedly.
I’ve loved my way through living.
Done the best that I could do.
I’ve been the person I could be inside this shell.
(Hard pressing, paper thin.)
I face my body. I tell it:
I’ve had a good life and I am finished with you now. I can’t eat.
I am ugly. I am wrong. I am in pain.
I want it to be over.
Damn this constant social stress.
Just fuck the world and fuck this life because I’m done.
Hard pressure from within.
I feel my body. It tells me:
I’m saving your life. You need to get up off your ass. Keep breathing.
Tell the world it’s time for you to be yourself.
The conversation started.
So my body told my mind:
You know I really am a prison for your soul.
Hard choices make it right.
You have the power. You can change.
No need to give up. There is a medical solution. Move forward.
You’re not dying; you’re becoming who you are.
I’ve always been this person.
Fully male identified.
I’ve worn a coat of femininity, just so.
Hard layers of soft paint.
And now I get to strip it off.
It didn’t work well. Almost nobody ever saw it. Extra weight.
Nearly killed me; makes good sense to let it go.
My body gave permission.
Told me fully, through my gut:
The mutilation that you think is horrible?
Hard scars of your healing.
I have a lifetime left to live.
The power is there. There is a way to fix the problem. Why suffer?
Let’s bring Lucas to the surface for a breath.