Patchwork Boy

Comments Off on Patchwork Boy Issue 7, literature, Poetry, Writing

By Elizabeth Lux

Content warning: transphobia and child abuse.

When I was born, you said you cried
The son you wanted had been delivered to you
That’s what the name you gave me means
“God’s Chosen”; “God’s Favor”; “God’s Gift”

But you didn’t get a son, did you?
You got another daughter
Even if you didn’t know it yet
And neither did I

When I started to come out, you fought back
Refusing to let your gift waste its potential
You tore at my mind with a seam ripper
And stitched me back together, into your patchwork boy

I still remember it
The anger, the yelling, the violence
When you found me trying on my sister’s clothes at age five
You didn’t let me get dressed alone after that

Even as I got older you made sure
That I only wore clothes you had pre-approved
Anything I felt comfortable in was torn to shreds
So I made sure to hide them in my car

I’m still finding new scars, inside and out
I remember when I found the first one
My wife was tracing her hands down my back
And asked me what those raised marks were from

“I don’t know”, I said
“I can’t remember,” I meant
She knew that though, and said
“I think they’re from a belt”

You shattered my mind like a mirror
And I’m still pulling out shards 
I have spent -years- painstakingly piecing my mind back together
While you never faced the consequences for your crimes

When I came out to you as Elizabeth
After years of hiding and struggling
You didn’t embrace me with open arms
Just the sting of a slap and the words “Get out”

I followed your instructions; I’m out now, to everyone
The world knows me as Elizabeth, not the name you forced me to wear
You taught me to think that everyone was as cruel as you
To believe that people would only keep me around if I could be of use

That I had to keep filling up that meter of love 
With deeds and affirmations
That I wasn’t allowed to want anything
 Because that’s selfish

That if I ever asked for help
I’d be seen as weak and tossed aside
That if I didn’t live up to your dreams
Then I’d be worth less than the dirt they’ll bury me under

You’re wrong

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