Your Life


00:12
David, with his jaw carved out of the side of a cliff;
00:16
Malcolm, who doesn’t have secrets, just stories he owes no one;
00:21
Chris, the basketball hero with a tic,
00:24
blinks 15 times when he makes a shot.
00:27
You spend hours blinking in the mirror,
00:30
pretending you’re a star like him.
00:34
Mary Levine calls you a dyke,
00:36
and you don’t have the language to tell her she’s wrong, and right,
00:41
so you just show up to her house promising to paint your fingernails red
00:45
with what will gush from her busted face if she ever says it again.
00:50
You’re in the seventh grade.
00:51
You don’t even know you want a girlfriend.
00:54
You still believe too much in the people who believe in Jesus
00:58
to even feel that desire through its hell threat.
01:01
You just want to kick your desk on the way to the principal’s office,
01:05
slouch in detention,
01:07
want to cut your hair
01:08
and spit out whatever you don’t want in your mouth,
01:12
your own name even, skirting around the truth.
01:16
You don’t yet know the boys are building their confidence
01:19
on stolen land,
01:21
but you do worry the girls might be occupied
01:24
with things you will never understand, won’t ever ever be good at.
01:29
You take one pretty step,
01:30
and feel like you’re pouring bubbles into your own blood bath.
01:34
You don’t want a soft death,
01:36
you want a hard life that is your life.
01:40
Your life, in the locker room that doesn’t stop demanding
01:44
you keep your eyes on the floor.
01:46
Your life, at the prom, where you run home in a snowstorm,
01:49
chucking your last pair of heels in a snowbank,
01:52
realizing you are the only boy
01:55
you ever wanted to tear your dress off for.
01:57
Your life, the first Christmas you spend alone,
02:01
the years you learn to build your family out of scratch.
02:04
Your life, when someone drags you from a restroom
02:07
by the collar of your coat.
02:08
Your life, every time airport security screams, “Pink or blue? Pink or blue?”
02:14
trying to figure out what machine setting to run you through.
02:17
Choosing your life, and how that made you into someone
02:21
who now often finds it easy to explain your gender
02:24
by saying you are happiest on the road
02:27
when you’re not here or there, but in between,
02:30
that yellow line running down the center of it all
02:33
like a goddamn sunbeam.
02:35
Your name is not a song you will sing under your breath.
02:39
Your pronouns haven’t even been invented yet.
02:42
You’re going to shave your head and drive through Texas.
02:44
You’re going to kill your own God
02:46
so you can fall in love for the first time.
02:49
They’re going to keep telling you your heartbeat is a preexisting condition.
02:54
They’re going to keep telling you you are a crime of nature,
02:57
and you’re going to look at all your options and choose conviction,
03:01
choose to carve your own heart out of the side of a cliff,
03:04
choose to spend your whole life telling secrets you owe no one to everyone
03:10
’til there isn’t anyone who can insult you by calling you what you are,
03:15
you, holy blinking star, you, highway streak of light,
03:20
falling over and over for your hard life, your perfect life,
03:25
your sweet and beautiful life.
03:29
♪ (music) ♪

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