I Will Look Like Nothing Acceptable
BY REBECCA BEDELL
I’ve been a woman the way a river is a light source. Today, Lily and I walk a marsh overlook on our anniversary— for a moment I’m whole at her side. Law will erase my existence as a woman, like the moment the magician drops his sheet and the girl is gone, out the trap mirrors. At least for a while I had been a boy, somewhat better than being a man. I lived as a small face suspended in blurry haze, seen but not really. The ignorance mine and everyone else’s, warm and contained as a womb. Now I wake into a world of fragile, bright things: her hands in my short hair, the birds hanging like ornaments on the stripped branches, waiting their turn at the fallen seed. My parents warn me in emails not to excavate between my legs, this bulge as I sit eating breakfast in hoodie and sweat, when no mood can convince me I am a woman. My friends, I’ll drop the curtain. End of show. I’ll go out into the streets. Hairy fists, my dragging voice— But Lily is pulling me through the strewn grass, and here I am, wearing this love like a breathless dress. The brown rushes are more beautiful than this world deserves—the trees nearly naked, so visible.