what if

here’s a little poem i started writing a few months ago, when i shaved my head. since it was my second time doing so, i knew what i was getting into: 1–how beautiful i would feel when i looked in the mirror at myself, and 2–how ugly i would feel once i stepped outside my door and saw/heard the way other people looked at me. i usually don’t share such personal stuff, but have been trying to put myself and my writing “out there” since writing is what i truly want to do. anyway, i finally finished the poem [at least the first version of it], so here goes:

“what if”

because
what if it didn’t matter so much
whether people called me “sir”?
if i didn’t loathe to hear them speculate
is that a He, or is It a Her?
would i shave my hair short,
the way i’ve always liked?
bare ears burning crimson red with each
“ugh! just look at that big dyke!”

is there a reason for this cropped head to be
perpetually hung in shame?
would it even make me feel much better
if i figured out just who to blame?
criticisms from friends and strangers alike
their reasons are mostly the same;
whether well-intended or otherwise perhaps,
they still manage to inflict the same pain.

because
what if it didn’t matter so much
how we thought our women should be?
since regardless of the many and various options
the first answer should always be “free.”

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