Not invited

I wrote & recorded something for International Girls’ Day. Enjoy.

There’s this little kid at my school.

Dark skin.

Tilted eyes.

Always rushing through the halls

and he likes to speak with his hands.

He’s half my size,

but once,

he patted me on the back and told me

not to worry

when a kid in my class called me a faggot.

And I thought: “Wow,

this little boy,

I would call him a grown man for his kindness,

but the phrase “grown man” has

only ever stabbed me,

has never been a compliment,

for age and gender have only ever ticked away from me,

called me late.

And this kid today went around,

poking pretty coats, long hair, and nail polish,

told my friend to go downstairs because it’s international girls’ day,

before ignoring me and rushing through the halls again.

I’m glad he didn’t touch me there and then because I’m sure

he would have only touched air

and maybe

something less.

It is international girls day but I don’t know my gender

and am still looking forward to Halloween,

something about that night reminds me of witches burned alive.

Or is it April Fool’s I’m thinking of?

Or am I still playing hide and go seek with this body,

hide and go seek with my rights,

seek my rights,

seek my rights.

My school takes photos with all its female students.

Celebration means pose for the picture-

means smile and look like you’re having fun-

means hold your books like they’re candy-

means school walls with ribbons

and people who look like confetti-

means festivities with recess that looks like a birthday,

teachers who look like fun,

girls who look like girls,

the camera that looks like a baseball bat

and I, that am sitting in the middle of this room,

looking like a pinata,

a jackass,

ridiculous in pink,

chock-full of sugar,

bullseye amid sharpshooters,

like destruction and humiliation in the middle

of what’s supposed to be a party room.

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