1. Travis Alabanza

XY & XX & YX & YY

 

I was born into tight t-shirts and loose jeans.

Into blue painted tiles and loud tractor cars,

thrown bruise first into aggressive handshakes and puffed out chests,

I was born into boy.

 

I was born into grasping at tears and opening doors.

Into muddy football games and locker room silence,

smothered watertight with unmeasurable heights and lost expectations, I was born into boy.

 

I was born into colourless face paint and bitten down nails.

Into punching walls death, and clenched sore fists,

buried garden deep with narrow tightropes and fatal falling mistakes,

I was born into boy.

 

I was born into toy soldiers and tarnished rugby boots.

Into thought out drill routines and gelled-back hair,

sealed with the lid shut on navy measured boxes and trumpet marches, I was born into boy.

 

—18 births later–

 

The pulsing wine lipstick took hold of my cracks.

The slick matte polish drowned over my index.

The neatly crafted skirt hung just above my nerves.

I was never asked to be boy.