when i was a kid

i used to think of the endless buffet at the diner

in some middle of nowhere town

in some middle of nowhere state

as paradise

something shiny

something almost sacred


i loved the people that filled that place

patting me on the head

giving me compliments

in the same budding accent i had

in the accent my parents had

in the accent my grandparents had


telling me that i was gonna grow up big and tall someday

like i was a superhero

and that was my power


but now

i sit in the same diner

i’ve come to millions of times

in my millions of selves


and i think about how the people here don’t like the one i’ve landed on

now that i’ve grown up big and tall

like they told me to


how the man at the counter with a gun at this hip and toothpick in between his lips

watched in disapproval

my shaved head,

my tattooed body,

my genderless presence,

my obviously queer self,

try to fit back in where i came from.