“I Will Mean Everything.” – a poem to a future lover
I remember a long ago lover once whispered in my ears, “no one will ever lover you like I do.”
I remember thinking about how romantic that was
until it turned into “no one will ever understand you like I do”
and finally into “people may not love you because you are transgender.”
Somewhat true – my body has always been a threat hung above me as I navigated a world of restricted breathing under ace bandages hiding the results of my first liberty, slipping through the cracks of the binary in a society that, in the most unromantic and uncomfortable of ways, will never understand me as a double x chromosome man.
and so here was my lover, teaching me that even through the eyes of ‘I love you and you are perfect,’ my body would remain a threat to me, to my boxed in society, and would ultimately impair my ability to be loved by another.
Six years and many lovers later I awake completely alone
my arms wrapped around air in a space where I used to count freckles and stars
I used to slide shadows down the collarbone of a potential wife with these callused fingertips until I chose to be alone after years of relationships, years of long distance, love, and building homes.
I chose to be alone to learn to love myself because I was not able to love the most extraordinary person I had ever held.
And even as this potential soulmate and I parted, I never, ever, ever told her that no one would love her like I did, because someone someday will, and I will be happy regardless if I’m in the second row at her wedding.
Now it has been months since I have held anyone and I am learning how to move my body through a world of physical representations without a copilot.
Currently, I am doing just fine but I am awkward and have small hands and little feet and a strange way of walking and an odd way of talking and I can’t sing well but I do anyway and I can’t dance well but I’m dancing at 6 am bus stations downtown because why not?
Now I sleep naked and by naked I currently mean stripped down to my boxer shorts
and by naked I mean that may not be your definition but everything’s subjective
and by naked I mean here are things I have not told
and by naked I mean I have slept in beds with attractive human beings and curled myself into a ball of mumbles and ignorance only to stretch my heart just enough to give them a soft kiss on the lips and ‘oops sorry I’m asleep now and that could have been fun’ as if this is middle school and we aren’t qualified explorers of uncharted bodies of water yet.
I’m not afraid of questions by any means, but I have no answers
and darling I am just too tired to explain my body to you
Anyway, I am sleeping without being held-
and by sleep I mean I haven’t slept in days
and by sleep I mean maybe my body simply knows that there is so much beauty in this world to see than to keep these eyes closed
and by sleep I mean I am so lucky to sometimes catch a handful of hours where I dream of ferris wheels, and lights, and oceans because I have ebbed and flowed with these tides since my grandparents carried me on ships before I even had these eyes.
and so I woke up today and saw all I have ever seen
opposing fractals, kaleidoscope mountain boy in front of me
smile wrinkled at 23, a recycled man in a repurposed body
I’ve kept these veins around in case I need to tie this vessel up on shore
I’ve kept this skin for when I’m reading through comments on my transition ranging from me being an unlovable dehumanized creation to being the next object of obtainment.
It is so strange that when others see me naked now, I am only asked about what I looked like before, as if I had an outer layer scrubbed off and what is missing is more interesting.
it is as if folks think I went into the doctor one day for one life changing physically altering surgery and came out a brand new painting, a radical transformation from “female to male, child to man” – but in truth I have been changing slowly since fourteen, just like everyone else I’ve seen.
I feel that I have spent most of my life proving my body and identity to someone other than myself and everyone that has seen my evidence has either questioned my crimes or joined the jury – I want to be honest in that I have relied on a lovers embrace to feel good in this skin only to have strangers shatter that open with curiosity again – and so I am calling this cycle to an end.
So, my friends. that is where I’m from and now this is where I am –
I wake up today and see my body as a complete ocean
I feel whole and solid, and for a human being I “pass” pretty well as alive
I am learning to love my body in this lonely time of my life
as I realize that my body is not a choice, our bodies are not choices
these complex cells arranged themselves and so instead of taking inventory of your physicality, I want to hear your thoughts and dreams and stories
I am half proud and half ashamed of where my body has been but instead of placing blame on my own reflection
I am counting my choices and sorting through my regrets
blessed to find that I don’t have any yet
and finally, to my future lover that I have yet to meet
this is where I have been and this is where I am and this what I want to tell you when we lay down in fields, on mountains, in rivers, and under the stars.
I have been loving my body and yours since the day I realized how silly it is that we judge so much on something that one has little to no control over
now I love your choices I love where you have been I love where you are going
I love how you have forgiven, I love the way you have hurt and ached and how you have taken thousands of steps since you said you couldn’t’ even move
I love the way you’ve composed the sound of your name and the way you have changed the sound of mine
I love the way you change each and every day, your synapses react to your soul
I love your ribs and I thank them for keeping your little lungs and your big heart safe cause I love the way you can beat up against me so softly and gently
I love your body because of what you can do within it
and what you have done with it
and for the simple fact that it brought you to right here and right now
I love that you will always be writing stories
I love stories, I love your story
So let me take a moment to thank my past lovers and past bullies
for reducing my body into a pulp that I then pressed into handmade paper
where on I will one day write to you, my future lover
to tell you that I can’t wait for you to come home.
And when we finally embrace,
when we look right through each other
I will tell you that you are beautiful.
I will mean everything.