The Risk of Embarking’, Lynne Sargent

Illustrations © 2021 Katharine A. Viola



 [ Views from its peak, © 2021 Katharine A. Viola ] my gender dysphoria is:

wishing in the depths of night for breast cancer,
for a family history, a BRCA gene—
nothing life-threatening, just enough
to justify their removal, a trigger
to make me take that leap
onto a smooth and flat plane.

my gender dysphoria is:

loving the space I find in loose pants,
and loving being held tight in corsets,
molded by fabric, being ogled and adored
by you, even if I wish it was different parts
you lingered on.

my gender dysphoria is:

knowing I would take testosterone in a heartbeat,
the way I dream of becoming firm and strong,
because it is not just that I have a woman’s body
but that it is so soft,
so woman.

my gender dysphoria is:

loving thrusting into you,
getting to plumb your depths, but also
needing you in my innermost places,
the tip of you tipping me into a burst
of glorious stars.

my gender dysphoria is a mountain:

I know I would probably enjoy the climb,
but there is so much preparation, and it is so large
so steep. The top would be cold,
and my lungs are ill-adapted for thin air

yet I dream of the views from its peak.

If only it took a wave of the wand
and not a whole hero’s journey.

The world seems safe, if I don’t embark
but all may be lost if I take
that first step.


© 2021 Lynne Sargent

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