‘Take a good hard look at me’ a transgender poem by River

Take a good hard look at me


Who do you see? What do you see?

Do you see my hair? My chest?

When you speak about me,

What words do you use?

If I never told you which words

Make my center fit perfectly in place

Would you think to use the right ones?


Take a good hard look at me


Because it’s a blessing that you can.

I hear it take a lot of energy,

For a spirit to manifest itself,

It must borrow from circuits and people.

Spirits only have so much energy to give,

I only have so much space in mine.

For the words people had to say,

About what they saw,

When people look at me.


Take a good hard look at me


Look at my eyes,

The dark circles from the nights awake,

And the pigment I use to draw you in.

Look at my nails,

See the dirt and skin beneath them,

From the fights with my own body.

Look at my teeth,

I promise the will look even better

As an imprint on an enemy’s skin.


Take a good hard look at me


And ask yourself what words you’d use.

Choose them carefully,

Because some words are spells, are scripture,

That seep into my skin

And settle between my lungs in my chest.

They can spark and roar and fuel me.

Or they can wrap around my heart,

Like a vice and still is beating

I am three words away from a spirit


So take a good hard look at me


Am I a he? Or am I a she?

Am I a pretty, perfect princess?

Or a handsome, strong prince?

Or do I land somewhere in between?

But choose wisely… Or..

You could must ask me?



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