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I’ve been a stranger in this body for forty years

and I never fully knew it?

When you’ve been used to ‘wrong’ for soooooooooooo long,

you have no idea there’s a ‘right’ at all, much less how to do it:

they can tell you over and over that the body means nothing,

flesh is only flesh, it’s the spirit that matters; it’s not about the shape,

the appearance, the look, the style.  But what they don’t tell you,

meanwhile, is this: there’s a physicality to the soul, a bliss

in embodiment when lies shatter and your own truth

is made whole; a sublime joy when the shape you see in the mirror

finally matches the template laid down inside. 

Bound flat, I feel like me, for the first time. 

 

Do you take it for granted when you’re cis?

Is it only when the truth has been denied with every nerve,

or, at best, reduced to a fantasy that you know you don’t deserve,

or the shameful secret that you’ve always got to hide: is it only then

that you find such pure delight in letting yourself be real? 

Or is this, in fact, the way that most people feel? 

 

Are we the only ones who had to detach to survive,

who had to deny every feeling, stifle every emotion,

lock down all sensation and focus on unbeingdead,

because we never knew there was an option of beingalive instead?

 

Euphoria reverberates through my chest; with each breath

I bind my wandering soul back into this flesh,

and finally start to arrive

in this body that was never truly mine before. 

The train speeds onward.  Facing outward, finding my voice:

This is me. Believe, or don’t believe: your choice.  Your disbelief

says more about you.  Hand on the heart that beats in this flat chest,

I know it’s true.  That’s all I’ll say.

Outward.  

Onward.    

This heart knows the way.  Held tight within

this second skin, supported, safe, secure, I breathe

the rightness in; ask myself yet again…

where have I been for so long, and how (in the name of all

that's beautiful) did I never understand  

what it was that felt so wrong?