by k. switch.
You need not shake my hand so hard
or knit your eyes so harshly
or apologize when you join conversations between me and another femme-appearing person
Look at me.
I am you.
Gendershit, cut from the same cloth,
We are brothers.
I want to know: how long must we trek on
absent of each other?
We need us. Now more than ever.
Mister, you look fucking good.
You make me stop before the mirror.
I test myself against yourself.
And this is how we compete
and know each other
and become what we tell women we are not:
dumb fucking men.
Mister, look at me.
This is our chance.
To start over,
to start fresh of all the poison.
To prove that strength and abuse are antonyms,
love and possession, distant strangers.
Let’s make a pact.
We will not follow our fathers.
We will not try to own the women we love.
We will not threaten one another in a world that would extinct us.
We will not commodify ourselves into cartoons of masculinity.
We will not appropriate slangs foreign to our tongues in an effort to appear tough.
It is your ferocity,
it is that heart,
it is that unshakeable goodness
that our clothing, our need to maintain something invulnerable, would mask
but I know better.
Because we are sisters.
told around the same campfire.