ISSUE ELEVEN | FALL 2018
You’re right, based on the definition you hold
so tight your nails dig into your palm.
Let’s not romanticize it—my body
is heavy, and the space I take up
is more than the multiple rounds of my belly
and the inconvenient width of my arms.
Let’s talk about buying a suit. How, eyes wet with want,
there’s a symbol of androgyny orbiting just outside,
and I can feel it in my hands, the material that won’t
rest just right.
Yes, we can discuss symbols more.
I own so many ties, none of which I wear.
My hands shake too much to work the knots.
I stopped shaving the sides of my head because
sitting in the barber’s chair, so often and so public,
was a coming out as regular as the period
I can’t carve out.
You’re right, in the way that this is not
a conversation, that my width makes me more.
My body is haunted by the ghost of a young girl,
the boy who almost was,
yes, and the frame we see with our own eyes.
Nicole Oquendo is the author of a hybrid memoir and five chapbooks, their most recent being Space Baby: Episodes I-III. They are currently serving as an Assistant Editor for Sundress Publications, and the editor of the forthcoming Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities anthology.
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