Image made with Canva.
Poetry by Tanya Singh.
TO THE GIRL WHO SAID MY PRONOUNS WERE JUST A TUMBLR THING
Thank you for making it to the dinner. Of course, we have saved you a seat, right next to Oprah. You were raised so much bigger than you are, it comes so naturally to you - like reaching for water when you’re thirsty. You are always too curious, you look for signs of ruin, deadnames and a child lifting the last of a candle. You never hesitate, not even a little. Because even with dirt covering my mouth, I'm the shape of water; always bending at the touch of light. Because all I want for Christmas is for you to look at me like you’re looking at a person and not a faint outline of something I could be. But it doesn’t matter, you are the screenwriter, you name the ways I die and I do. I’m afraid there are just too many things I’m afraid of. I’m wedded to the colour purple and a flock of geese chasing after me. Inside the house, I am whatever my parents imagined me to be - insufferable and surprised when they ask me over brunch if I’m ready to get married. Unlike you, I’m invisible in the daylight, the sun is useless to me. I’m an afterthought, a raspy childhood memory. I’m the rattling of teenage boys who have just learned to say fuck you. I am beautiful in a different language. I'm Sharkboy and you’re Lavagirl and our adventure is less adventure and more help me. By the way, how are you enjoying the dinner? We have dessert, too. You and I sit across from each other, but my seat at the table is a barstool borrowed from the neighbouring restaurant. You tell me I fit right in, you orchestrate a perfect smile, you laugh at my jokes, too. And I almost believe you.