An Aria - Alexander Low's image
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I am thirteen

    when the mean girls call

me weird—

I do not shave

I do not wear makeup.

I do wear basketball shorts

and messy ponytails.

I am pressured to be her—

Aria.

I shave relentlessly

    for the next two years.


I am fifteen

    full of discomfort

    and anger

breaking my bones like they

    are glass

reckless rage—

all reckless no brave

    depraved of a home

    inside my own skin.


I am fifteen when I

learn what gender dysphoria is.


I am fifteen when I

    realize I am a boy

that I always have and will be

    a boy.


I am fifteen—

putting holes in wall and

    overdosing on advil

like it is a sport

championing my own self demise.


I am fifteen afraid and closeted—

I write my name as

ALEX

on my school assignments

I always change it back

before I turn them in.  


I am fifteen

    convinced everyone loves the girl

I am not

    and will never love me as the boy

I actually am.


I am sixteen crying on the floor

    of a psych ward

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