Anything At All

Anything At All


I didn’t think an “I love you”

Was too much to ask,

Your “I love you”s

Have been replaced with

“I’m sorry”s

You blame yourself for all of this

But I’m the one who feels guilty

 

She was a stillborn baby,

She was an accumulation of your expectations

She was a ghost

I was a living boy

And you loved her more than me

 

I realize this transgender thing must be a disappointment

I would need more hands in order to count on my fingers

How many times you’ve told me how special I am;

The daughter among sons, the little girl you always wanted

But at times, dad, you act as if I killed her

I wasn’t trying to kill the girl,

I was trying to save the boy

Because while you mourned over her,

Over the girl that never lived

There was a boy that needed you

 

I don’t know what to say

How do I talk about this dead girl

With respect to the people that loved her?

How do I remind them that she can’t be gone

If she was never here?

How do I explain that while they fed their love to her ghost,

I stood in the background, starving?

 

I’m not going to grieve with you,

I can’t talk about her anymore

I can’t breathe life into the girl I never was

Because I’m trying to resuscitate

The boy that I am

 

I’m sticking needles in my thigh,

Compressing my chest into a different shape

Even though it’s already hard to breathe

Dad, it’s hard to breathe

It’s hard to see myself as anything at all

Because I am not the woman you thought I would be

Because I am not man the world wants to see,

Believe me, I don’t want this body either

Every time I am nervous, I am reminded of that fact

As my voice rises, as it softens, as it becomes small

 

I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I will die

And you will put the wrong name

On my gravestone

I’m afraid I will be hung from a fence post

Bruised black and blue, bleeding

I’m afraid I will be beaten in the men’s restroom

Because the guy next to me tried to make conversation

And realized my voice is too feminine

I’m afraid that oncoming traffic will embrace me

The way you never could

 

I’m not asking for an “I’m sorry,”

The best apology is simply

An “I love you”

And when you say I love you

I need you to know what it means

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