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a body no one has hurt or hated


gentle, i am not a gentle

kind of damaged. i am a rough

edge of dropped ceramic. i am a missing

piece of silence. i am alone

in my dragging

onward of skin, hopes,

while freedom draws backward

and everyone gazes everywhere

but inward.




you touched me


in a softening way, in a softening place,

but i did not ask you to unlace me

from the nightmares. i sleep

to find a place more dangerous

than the childhood i keep

not talking about.




i itch to hurt myself so deeply

i cannot feel




laws changing.




i am a protest of cardboard, blistering

and sunburned, longing. i am feet

weathering on darkening

cement. i am my heart, chanting

dreams where my marriage is safe

from those who have never

met me. i want to know a gentle life

from inside a pain-free, able body i can own

completely. i want to live inside a body


no one has hurt, or hated,

but me.

This poem was published in Trans Muted, September 2023


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