Borrowed Time

Borrowed Time

Three days ago I realized I was living on borrowed time
when my mother gave me an ultimatum:
“Either you start dressing like a girl
and talking like a girl
and acting like a girl
or you’re going to be in some deep shit.”

She didn’t actually say “deep shit”, of course.
My mother has standards.
Threaten her child–without swearing.
Reduce them to tears–without swearing.
Emotionally manipulate them–without swearing.
And deny everything when her kids hear her scream
“Why is your head so fucked up?” at her eleven-year-old son (who only wanted help with his science project.)

But this poem isn’t about my mommy issues.
This poem is about love, conditional love.
And about living in a home where familial love is dependent on and determined by
whether (or not)
I play along with gender roles and gender presentation.
And this? This is a barbed-wire cage dressed up in frills and laces
this is my own personal iron maiden
and I am impaling myself
on cold, archaic, unforgiving expectations
in the struggle to escape.

And I can’t stand the days
when all I want and need to do is flatten my chest
and walk
and act
and talk like a boy
but when I step out of my room
their stares drive me back in
and it becomes better, safer,
for me to suffer in silence
rather than enduring the hate outside.

And I don’t see why they can’t accept me as I am
because I might change my clothes or my pronouns or my name as I see fit
but I’m still the same person.
I’m still the same person.

But for some reason I am only fit to be proud of
and talked about
and praised
and loved
with skirts and pink and jewelry and “girl” branded into my skin.

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About Danny

I blog about whatever's on my mind. Usually that's stuff like Harry Potter metaposts, writing, and LGBTQ+ topics.
This entry was posted in Me, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Borrowed Time

  1. River says:

    I. . . I am speechless. On multiple levels.
    This is powerful.

    • Danny says:

      You asked me one time, a while ago, how bad ‘it’ got. I don’t think I ever really replied to that. I guess, in part, this is my reply. Honestly though, it gets a lot worse than this.

      I never actually meant for this to be published. I wrote it in a fit of (depression? dysphoria? panic? anxiety? all of them?) after an argument with mother, and she knows the password to my comp so I couldn’t risk her finding it saved on Word or somewhere, so I saved it in a WP draft. I set the date to be published because I really thought I’d come back to it sometime and edit it, but I guess I didn’t and here it is now. I won’t delete it, though. It’s too truthful to be erased.

      On a slightly happier side note: I love how you tell me to check my email at every meeting and then you don’t actually go and send me anything lol.

      • River says:

        I remember. And what you told me then was bad enough already, without adding issues closer to home. It’s good you can write about it, at least. It’s better than bottling everything up until it explodes.

        Why would you want to edit it? It’s perfect already imo.
        Also, I’m really glad that you decided to leave it on the blog.

        Haha, yeah. (Though I actually did send you something last night! So there! XD )

    • Danny says:

      True, you have a point. Don’t worry though, WP isn’t the only place where I can rant.

      Ehhh, there’s something about poetry grammar that makes me twitch sometimes. I can def point out a few edits I’d like to make to it rn.

      You also sent it when I was asleep so that doesn’t count as yesterday, that counts as today. Danny Logic™.

      • River says:

        Poetry grammar? Is there such a thing?
        (Joking, joking, I know there is. It’s just been so long since I actually studied it. And I suck at poetry, but that’s okay, because I write prose instead. #totallynotsourgrapes)
        Ahem. So. Like what? (Because I’m feeling challenging today.)

        Well I was still awake so it counts as yesterday. River Logic TM.
        Also it was before midnight. Boring Temporal Logic TM.

    • Danny says:

      Probably change all the “your”s when referring to my mother to “her”s. Delete “the judging”. Change “a futile” to “the”. Add “or my pronouns or my name” after “my clothes”. Change “adorned” to “branded into”. Y’know, small stuff like that that’s really less grammar and more diction, I think.

      Pffff, time.

    • Danny says:

      Update: I went and made those edits, whoops 😛

  2. nevillegirl says:

    dfsgkhdfkgjhdskgdfhgdfg This is a great poem. Go write ALL THE THINGS, because you’re very good at it. *nodnod*

    (Also, yes, I am just NOW catching up on all your posts. *glares at WP subscription for not working correctly*)

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