House of the Tomato

If a woman wants to be a poet, she must dwell in the house of the tomato. -- Erica Jong

Regional website for the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, in partnership with the Reader's Loft.

GREEN BAY / NORTHEAST

Celebrating, sharing and inspiring poetry throughout Wisconsin.

Ten Questons to Never ask Someone Transgender

Tori-- this is VERY rough-- my poem in two voices (not even sure if it's a Cento) patterned after the sample Kim Blaeser gave at WFOP Conf.)  I am not sure if it works..does the "sarcasm" of the "never to ask questions" come through?  Questions are indented--as the 2nd voice...   I want it to be a positive picture of transitioning....I don't want it to spark those questions..is it confusing? It's about etiquette in this new world of trans.

Ten Questions Never to Ask Someone Transgender
(In two voices)

She shops at Goodwill, Found:
Brown pencil skirt
v-neck top, new tags still on,
a green cabled sweater.

your friend makes a
necklace of crystal beads
gentle on your neck;
eyebrows waxed

new hair color,
red tint, with long soft curls
smooth face, touch of powder and blush
          Can I see pictures of you before you changed?

Ladies Lunches, tea, finger sandwiches
Comfort in your skin, finally.
Ladies room mirror, brush curls off your forehead.
             Which bathroom do you use?

Travel two hours to the doctor
the one who understands,
an expert in trans health,
get the hormone patch,

change it every few days -- forever.
There are risks
cancer, blood clots, mood changes
it took a while to figure out,

New body chemistry, voice training
Feeling better.  Soft skin, growing curves
              Have you had the op yet?
              (what does that EVEN mean?)

Insurance is iffy, doesn’t cover
sometimes it does, mostly it doesn’t.
Most are impoverished
                  Do you have a penis?

 Married twelve years, happily, legally.
Even through depression
turned day into night
night into day,  dark never satiated

she stood by you, seven years talk
you discerning, is it even possible?
Vascillating.
Beard came in red

foreigner at home
she stood by you
journey to androgenous
your time in the middle

gray days
not one or the other
even the dark was better than this
your wife stood by you

happily ever after
happily. She loves you for who you are,
who you ARE.
            How do you have sex?
            Are you sure you aren’t just gay?

Coming out to yourself
Freedom, enlightenment
Coming out to family, friends, strangers
         Why don’t you look more like a woman/man?

Violence prevails, in down south states and hemisphere
too many places unsafe
(Especially for women of color)
       Does this make you a lesbian then?
       Do you like guys now?

 

What’s your real name?

Just call her Anna, Ida, Natalie, Jennifer
LaVerne, Betty, Megan, Kristin, Caitlyn

 

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