My Underwear

In the tradition of my people
part of the stories we tell
let me tell you about
my underwear.

Let me tell you about what I wear
next to my skin
sheer & lacy
tight & controlling

I know you care
I have actually had people
ask me about my underwear
to try to determine
if I am real or not

My lingerie
what I wear all the time
against my flesh
is the bodysuit of obligation
and the shoulder pads of fear.

If you could see it
it would look patchy and shabby
strung together with
the laces of expectation and
the whip strings of disdain

Tight laced and excruciating
torturing my body
every time it gets pulled
my torso throbs
aching with the tension
of too tightened muscles

Christine would often ask me
about the marks on my back
that looked like welts
and I would shrug
never really seeing them

All I knew is how it felt inside
torsioned and tensioned
with obligations and expectations
of holding myself in
too tight.
What she didn’t see
were the shoulder pads of fear
sewn into my bodysuit of obligation.

Linda Evans big
stuffed with sacks of rock chips
weighing me down
in every moment

“I’m lucky,” the tall woman told me
“that my mother sent me to ballet
at least I remember to
keep my shoulders back and
my head up
most of the time.”

My mother sent me to fear and obligation
bowing my back & lowering my head
leaving me twisted
with the unique organ damage
tight lacing causes.

“You are going to crack up
within five years,”
the college counselor told me twenty five years ago
“Look at how you hold your body
how you walk straight legged
BioEnergetics by Lowen
or die,” she said

I tried to become more resilient
loosening my view
guy in a dress,
outish tranny
and as I grew older & outward
my underwear continued to bind
not meant to be seen
only to shape

Those chips on my shoulders
carrying the fears of others
for children, for comfort
they break my stride
and ballast my step.

Those cords of control
hinder my breathing
leaving me scratching for oxygen
to keep the fires lit.

I choke on my own fluids
gag on my own insides
forced up into my throat
blocking breath, blocking voice.

The aches are always there
reminding me to be afraid
reminding me to be crippled
beaten in the world.

Let me tell you about my underwear
what I wear next to my skin
everyday of my life
the bodysuit of obligation
tight and torturing
the shoulder pads of fear
full of the chips
people pour onto me.

And every time it slips
someone reminds me
how important
obligation & denial is
and how important it is
to carry the fears of the world
as long as it is my wracked body
that pays the cost.

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