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when mother brought me forth,
I wasn’t only covered in blood; I was a truth backgrounded in
ironies, a seedling unaware it was bound to be a tree

the midwives chuckled on seeing the gaping slit between my legs.
it’s a girl, a well-made girl! ×××

no one bothered to ask me
“hey newbie, who the heaven are you?”

I cried in protest; they called it normal.
& I lived on. like a boneless antithesis.

under the sheets

mother remade her clothes, & gave them to me.
I dumped them & wanted my brothers’:
all the suits and ties and pants,

& standing before the mirror, I look just the way I love—
a boy in a girl’s trunk,
but I wasn’t the only one standing here.
mother & father were staring at me
in the mirror, whispering, ‘she’s possesed, Tabi is possesed.’

××× i shook my head. my feeble mind quivered—absorbed strength from the me trapped
in this bodily hollow. it was morphing into a testament of rebellion

which I eventually published when I joined the
groomsmen on my brother’s wedding party. >>> this was me hoisting my flag.
this was me telling the world I was ready for this conversation.

and this conversation, I dominated it when I walked into eternity with a woman,
the bone of my bones—the bones those midwives never saw.

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