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Stroke of Midnight

Even in my dreams people stare,

misgender, and dead-name me. I am never

                        a man or woman, but trans, yet not trans

enough. Faltered hormones, hormones but no

            surgery, a male body but my hips suffocating

inside the black claw of a pencil skirt,

                        the seam bursting should I even think

            of moving.


            Even in my dreams, where I can be

anyone, I am cowardice personified

            into a hunchbacked chimera wheezing

and limping, dragging my own half-amputated

            feet. I am featherless wings.

                                    I am a phoenix

                        still flaming. I am flames licking

the air, searching for my history,

                        and hungry. Or maybe I am the dust

beneath. Yes, unswept, that is me.


                        I am the dust


and the still-bleeding feet.

This poem was published in Beyond Queer Words, an LGBTQ anthology by Beyond Words, July 2020

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