no home base-a transpoem

is this baby a boy or a girl

is this baby a boy or a girl

sugar and spice and everything nice

what little girls are made of

rusty nails and puppy dog tails

what little boys are made of

pink taffeta and sequence

high heels with a matching handbag

blue jeans and flannel

sporting high tops and big belt buckle

we think we know

girls and boys

men and women

we think it’s up to us

to decide what belongs

between the legs of all

we think we know

parts make the person

when the genitals

don’t belong there

when  a girl has a penis

and a boy a uterus

we think we know

the masculine and feminine

to dictate the dichotomy

of gender roles

“you don’t go in there!’

“this is the female dressing room!”

“that is the boy’s locker room!”

we cannot measure or decipher

the shame

the confusion

the doubt

the trouble

the pain

the anger

the desperation

the need

what we don’t know

is self hate

the internal battles

loathing the reflection

danger from all

never knowing

in fear they will find out

and show you

“you are not a man!”

“i will make you a bitch!”

having your parts

you don’t want to know

you don’t want to think

your deformity

invaded by a “real man”

legislation on your gender

determining the bathroom


violent shaking vomiting

when confronted

pronouns used as razors

to debase to disgrace

to alienate

your gender a joke

a mockery

an ever reminder

you have no place

you don’t belong here

the look in the eyes

of the ppl you love

who have said you are their light

but when you tell them

“i am a girl

i know i have  birth defects

yes birth defects

that make you call me paul

but please call me dinah”

the confusion in their eyes

the anger in the brow

muscles under the eye spasm

teeth clinched and grinding

“take that makeup off!”

“what is in your pants?”

“why would you do this to me?”

“what will they think in church?”

we don’t know the courage

of the conversations

held in consciousness

for years, decades

lifetimes of running

because you don’t belong in that bathroom


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