I grew up wanting to be like my father, a ladies man, and yet I was born female, and my relations are generally with men – you’d think perhaps I’d sway the other way in order to fulfil this fantasy, but it seems desire is never this logical. So where does that leave me? In a constant state of in between. And so the old turn plays its little waltz again, and I act out that familiar dance between my mother and father. Your eyes become his, mine and they penetrate, through the parted undergarments of exotically scented women. I struggle amidst my womanhood, where I battle against mothers’ arms, her legs as they slowly suffocate and her hair as I untangle. I become her when I am with you and I always flee.
Your masculinity, it taunts me, exposing my apparent lack. How does one become something other than my mother? When my father is who I long to be. And so the only way to hide from mothers’ encapture is to remain a girl-child, now I search for the daddy – in your eyes – before I swelled and erupted into adolescence. There exists a precarious tilt towards womanhood, like a seesaw that constantly threatens to throw you off, the girl-child adjacent to the woman – her limbs thick and heavy, her breasts swinging like pendulums as we move see and saw. She sits there across from me, her open mouth gaping like an abyss, threatening to swallow me up whole.
Image credit: Untangle, 2013, Lo Liddell, (collage)