Practicing makeup behind closed doors,
the one night a week I give myself
to slip fully into
my feminine identity.

Longing for a world
where it’s safe to be me,
two souls in one body,
home to two genders,
more than what you see.

Missing the nail polish on my fingertips,
happiness in a bottle
sacrificed to fear, family obligation,
societal expectations,
gender norms.

Misgendered in most situations,
in every restaurant,
by family,

Grateful for the precious pockets of fellowship
in my life
where I can breathe
and be seen
and present any way I want to.

Closed off
from so much of my life
because I’m waiting
for I don’t even know what.
Maybe things that will never come.
Maybe things that will never change.
Because it feels like I will never find, create, or shape a world
where it is
safe to be me.