They say I’m a girl muzzled into the feeble skin of a man
They call me sissy
I’m a little honey swaying on clumps of mane
Twirling string of pearls, puckering my lips
My skin are twining kelps of mellow darkness
Shuffling into my sweet melanin filled pores.
Winking for blue jeans on James Dean
Stomping in my neon green pumps
Giggling, jiggling my belly lumps
Chelsea Hotel #2 playing ov’r Old Gran’s radio
Over the rain outside.
Little honey swaying
All dressed up
Sweetly, innocently, wonderfully distracted
I am a sissy, don’t call me silly
I used to be everyone’s favourite person
They kept my daisy-self company.
Long enough to get to know me
Start to love me
And they call me sissy again.
I dwell alone for I’m casted as foreign
And I learn not to borrow someone else’s lips
I have counted years like boxes
And I’ve twined into myself like a shit inside a carcass body.
They say I am girly, so they forget the gossips we shared together
Letting my lips be the melody of their earlobes
As they borrowed their jaws to their fluffy hands.
Now, I get to belong with neither an encumbered spirit nor with myself.
I learnt to walk to the beach and talk lesser than my mouth can carry my words,
And then walk into tears and brokenhearted soul sobbing.
To live, to stay
Possibly for good.
I hope they do
But I fear that if they do not,
One day, the memories of me will be like fetters unshielded in chain
And I’ll be nothing but a lost twig in a birch
Afflicted by booze
I will primp into a crab and have my hands in the air
Screaming like a stolen princess
Squeezing my every bone into loft shreds
And dragging myself to beach to sing Acapella with the Nightingale.
Because I am a sissy, I am sworn to ostracism
They look into my eyes and clip their fingers a thousand times inside a moment
Saying I am cursed inside the spirit of girl
So I learn to shrink like a crab on my laps
with tears pouring like rains missing strap for clumsy mourned
Knuckles rejoice, curses slurred.
I slug into bloody winds and crumple in a corner
Pretending that I’m not touched by their lips and actions
But then I flop into a Queen and decipher that life has to be a mixture
Of bitterness and sweetness.
They call me gay, that I need a man on me
And so I’m meant to be the ridicule of every mouth
Now I wander as another
All but my true self, my heart is dry and filled with pits
It hurts, it tears, and it bleeds.
Once was enough
And I would that moment now inside an arcade of sorrow
No more than to lay in death
Through torn skins, I ripple into shells of heartbroken soul.
Owoh Ugonna Alexander is a writer and poet from Nigeria. He was shortlisted in the 2018 Meat Shelley prize. He is an 18-year-old writer.