My poem for Neil and Amanda's issue of the New Statesman
I knew when I was four. Girls were my team.
Boys were the other side. Not as distress.
Something I knew. Not yearning for the dress
my best friend wore at parties. In a dream
we danced and flew. Flesh silk in every twirl
Feet stars. And no one followed, no one led.
For many years they told me she was dead.
She found me when she looked for me as girl.
Mourning was lead. But these things were all true.
Things I knew not to say. Silence my friend
I feared that they would catch me in the end
Nailed to unchanging skin. Be just like you.
Which I was not. Nor am. I represent
this chosen model of embodiment.
Mingle my elements alchemic gold
Quicksilver flows even when sick or old.
Some things I choose. And some things are my fate.
Stories a web of both. Spun spider time.
Sparkle by chance, by choice smear waste dust grime.
Early I knew, transitioned slightly late.
And paid the ferrygirl my toll in full
the blessing of pus blood months weak in pain
if free would chose it over all again.
We all have weight to shoulder or to pull.
Perhaps you'll hear me if I say it clear.
You live a body set and formed and grown
I change my flesh and mind and not alone.
We come among you dancing, year by year.