humid boxing ring boy body
fishing for a breath in a downpour.
my bones were so plausible.
all the feet i had on the rubber mats
of the gym. how, i could work my body
into boy somehow. in fits of arms
& collision. biting down on
a rubbery mouthguard. drool unspooling
from the corner of my mouth.
i found my lips in a snarl gallery.
all the boy with their born-ready shoulders.
little men standing inside boy bodies.
men standing on our shoulders.
masculinity is a school of square lives.
finding the right angles. the ropes
building a parameter to live inside of.
he punched me in the chest & then
the stomach. doubled over i saw myself
from above. already shucked.
saw all the threads & the miniature gender
made of glass because after all
all genders are made of glass.
looking through that supposed-to
& already should. sweat arrives like soldiers.
they say, "you don't believe us
but you have a body." i refuse.
drink water hungrily from a folding chair
while my father tells me i am
not a man but i did good. good for
whatever is beside boy. spitting
the mouth guard into my hand & seeing
how the cis boys shoved each other
like love poems. in the bathroom
i washed my masculinity
& patted it dry with
the brown papertowels. told my body
to try again another day. fighting
had everything & nothing to do
with trying to have a skeleton.
at night, the soreness arrived
like a flock of birds. all of them calling,
"you are you are you are."
i counter, thinking, if my gender is true
then why do i have to spar
to make it legible.