Patricia LukDecember 16, 2016The Soul of GenderPoetry

“It’s a great day,” the Sun could tell me.
Just see the breeze waving at me.
Look at the baby blue sky, and
the clouds, grinning like some idiots.
Well, I didn’t have anything to smile at.

“Carpe diem!” proclaimed Horace.

Forget about it, Quintus Horatius Flaccus.
The fruit’s not ripe. It’s sour. Bitter.

Seems like I’m giving away free sighs again.
Sorry, hugs are a dollar each.
Actually, make it five. I’m grumpy—sour—bitter.

I give my teeth a good scrub down.
My hair gets a hasty makeover
from bombed to adequate. Barely.
Distrait, I dismiss the vexing “haste makes waste!”
Sorry, not today.

Staring myself down in the mirror,
I see only a fractured doppelganger.
It’s me.
Only me.

It used to be new — shiny — beautiful.
Now it’s a mess.
Whatever happened to it?
My reflection’s scarred and marred.
The warm brown eyes — they’re lifeless.
So bereft of joy. Dispossessed.
My skin’s so pale, it’s sickly gray.
Cracked — scratched — broken.
Whatever happened to it?
Now it’s a mess.

I touch my face tentatively,
wondering if I really was a human —
if I had a corporeal body.
My flesh’s gelid, like ice. Then I realize
my hand’s resting on the neglected mirror.

I really can’t understand why people think up
stereotypes for guys and
expect girls to act a certain way.
We’re not robots, you know?
“Oh, males should be athletic —
they have to dominate.
And the girls?
Sorry to break it to you,
you have to be all pink and flowery,
feminine and cute.
That’s how the world likes it.
Be a girl.”

Yeah, right. Think about that.
Did you ever wonder why those famous women
never were “proper”?
Renowned individuals never “normal”?
What is normal, anyway? Define it for me.
Was there ever a “normal” crowd?

They thought I was abnormal.
It’s unlike not normal.
They hurled me sticks and stones.

Yeah. They broke my bones.

Just look at me now,
looking in a pathetic mirror.
Why couldn’t they understand me?