Dysphoria Is Not My Name

H. Melt

after Ross Gay

Joy brought me here
lifted me onto this bed
on wheels, tied drawstrings
behind the back of my gown
affixed a hairnet atop my crown.

Look, in this country alone, there are
millions of us, naturally occurring
sweet things
, with names
we carved ourselves.

No matter what the doctors say
I castrated myself & I’m all smiles.
There are so many surgeries
I could’ve had but timing
is everything.

It’s a new decade, a new life.
Purple is the color of my scars.
Purple is my favorite color.
I’m forever in bloom.

H. Melt (photo credit Mercedes Zapata)H. Melt is a poet, artist and educator whose work celebrates trans people, history and culture. They are the author of On My Way to Liberation, The Plural, The Blurring, and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. Their next book, There Are Trans People Here, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in the fall of 2021.