Pull your oversized sweatshirt down over your hips.

But big pants and sag them down low.

Wear a couple sports bras. Or a binder that lifts your spirits… but crushes your ribs.

Don’t speak because they’ll hear the little girl who hides in your heart.

Don’t tell them you aren’t actually a lesbian.

Don’t tell them you know you are wrong.

So just cry yourself to sleep at night.

Hit your hips every day, because one day, maybe they’ll cave in and disappear.

Press on your chest past where it hurts, press until little drops sprout from your eyes — the only true things your body seems able to produce.

Stay inside for a week once a month and pretend you aren’t bleeding your heart out.

No, tell yourself that eventually you’ll bleed out and this will all be over.

Hide from cameras, say you’re too shy, say you don’t like them.

Take daily showers even though you know they’ll never clean off what dirties your body.

Tell yourself this is normal,

Tell yourself that everyone feels this way about their bodies! – Self-hate has become the culture anyways, right?

Tell them it’s just an eating disorder, tell them you hate how fat you are even when you know you are unhealthily small.

Keep your hands in your pockets — they’re too small and too feminine to hide how everything betrays you.

Avoid every mirror because you know you will never see anything but darkness.

So lay in it.

Revel in the black.

Let it tuck you in at night as you let the little drops crawl down your face, pooling on the sheets.

And when they dry, don’t wipe away the salt that they leave behind.

Because these drops are the only true things your body is able to produce.f

Tell yourself this is the way it is supposed to be.

Stare at the monster in the mirror – don’t try to rip it apart – this is your punishment.

But you are strong enough to stand it.

So crawl into bed, and cry yourself to sleep at night.

Forget you’re talkative, don’t say anything, you don’t know how they’ll respond — you don’t need to feel that again.

Hate your second X-chromosome because why couldn’t it have lost that fourth leg?

Hate your brother for having that Y.

Starve yourself because maybe then, you can at least stay a boy.

Boy is closer to man than woman.

Even though woman is what they call you.

You’ll never be a real man, she says.

You’re not going to get one of those stick on parts!

So hate yourself because you are not enough a man.

Everything about you says small, says girly, says not man.

You are not enough.

And yet you spill over every shirt, every bra, every piece of clothing you own.

So hate yourself because you are too much a woman.

Your everything is too feminine.

You are never enough but always too much.

So love this hate.

Love the little drops the spill over your eyelids and are caught by the chest that is not yours.

Hold them close to the chest that is not yours, hold them close.

Taste their salt as they trickle down your cheek, past your lips, off your chin.

Feel them tickle, even though there is no laugh left inside of you.

Hold them close.

Hold them close.

Because this is the only true thing that your body produces.

© Schuyler Bailar 2015

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