*6 months later

THE RAVE IS PROM FOR THE FREE QUEER

-------

‘And how many hearts has this dress broken?’

 

 

I’ve worn this gown as a woman for the heartbreaks of three men

and in turn to be broken by one

 

 

 

 

I wear it sometimes still:

 

i.

for safety:

She is comfortable at home

 

ii.

She is me too

Not in July or December,

 

but in November

and parts of August

 

They is a compromise

a placeholder for respect and mutual understanding

but a loss of privilege 

 

and a label that comes with responsibility I do not fully understand yet

 

iii.

I wear the gown with a limpwrist

we jokingly say:

‘as a lady’

 

which one is the one you wear?

 

and which is the one that you’re born as?

 

I still don’t understand words that describe gender

 

 

I feel so disjointed from my becoming

 

 

I scour my closet to prove I was there all along;

 

what stitch was undeniably faggy,

does a memory of flamboyancy cling to any fabric?

 

can it be reborn?

me, in it?

 

I wear a lace leotard

 

it’s the same mesh lycra,

 

same

 

face
put

on

eyes on me,

 

and sweat

 

but it’s not cold like the ice rink of my childhood,

 

and it’s a different time of day.

 

night.

beards are fascinating

their absence can make the faggot in the same outfit unrecognizable

The ‘Cis’ slip off my expander clunky now

 

metal in teeth mirror my second social puberty

 

Read Nightclub on Display next (criticism, March 2020)