Sometimes I grieve that I am a woman.
When I watch two men being soft together:
their ferocity and bravery
their unfurling nakedness,
the sting comes into my eyes
as though I am remembering something I’ve lost;
I can taste its residual linger on my tongue
so I swipe it over my teeth
and across the roof of my mouth
to have its flavor
for just a moment longer
before it dissipates.
I am a woman.
Not just within the slope and weight of my birth-given body
but inside of my self-chosen interests,
fitting the mold
even as I slop over the sides of it.
But there’s a voice, small, behind my heart
in the blackred caverns of my chest
that has a name that isn’t my own,
and beats its fists against the strange cushiony feeling of my flesh
and wishes to know itself
within firmness and fur
I do not possess.
When I was 13 and my father had died
– though do not try to blame this duality on loss –
I went through his closet,
lamenting that, even being so much smaller than him
his jeans wouldn’t fit over the width of my thighs
and the curve of my pubescent ass,
so I took his shirts
and scissors to my hair
and even with the early onset of breasts busting out
(no matter what I did to try and hold them back)
I was mistaken twice that year for a boy,
got called a dyke
despite my boyfriend.
Perhaps they could smell it on me –
the other person lurking inside of my flesh,
seducing the beautiful gay boy
who loved me
but not my gender.
You could try and say that maybe I was influenced
by the gossiping guesses of family
while I was in gestation –
all proclaiming that I Must be born a boy,
too many girls had already been born in the family,
It was time.
Perhaps in my mother’s womb,
through the sloshing
I heard them choosing names:
Forest, Hunter, Gabriel,
but it was too late.
I must have had a choice, at some point, to have taken it a step further,
to have rebelled even more loudly against the feminine,
but it comes in waves,
I put on heels and lipstick,
I paint my nails and devour fashion magazines,
gyrating in the club like a goddess on fire.
I feel the power surge in my womb
and the aching weight of my breasts.
I play the part of the seductress and the kitten.
in the dark,
when a man has had too much to drink
or thinks he can rest for a moment
inside of my safety
the predator emerges;
not some BDSM bitch with whips and leather bustier,
but flared nostrils and manhands
grabbing hold of his hipbones from behind
and scorched breath against his ears
telling him everything.