Boy with a Pretty Face

Palms pressed deeply against marble, fingers gripping the edge of the sink,
Thick pressure in my head, pushes against the confines of my skull,
Insistent, pounding, your never-ending questions start to probe
What I know, what I thought, what I dreamed and held dear,

These quiet, troubled brown eyes look into another face, another heart,
Begging the question, "Who are you?  Who are you?"
Are you a boy with a pretty face?  Are you a girl who wants to be Peter Pan?
Are you the little girl in the alley, face pressed in the gravel, bleeding

Eleven years ago, little broken girl lays in the dirt, the monster above her
Hovering, breathing, panting, sick monster tearing,
Eleven years ago, pretty little girl innocence lost,
The world fades to black and the pretty little girl gets caught in that alley forever,

Who are you?  The question breathes against the mirror, brown eyes searching
Who are you?  Always always pressing at my skull, always asking
Who are you? Stop asking me, you're driving me into darkness
Who are you? Don't make me answer, don't make me explain

I am a girl, who looks like a boy with a pretty face, a flat chest, brown eyes
I am a survivor, a victim, wearing a binder to tie down my
Memories and ghosts left in the past, left in the alley,
I am nobody you knew, nobody you ever saw

The question pounds and the little girl imprisoned
Destroyed in that alley eleven years ago
Stands before this mirror today, a tattooed survivor
A stitched-together image of what I want to be

I am a boy with a pretty face
I am a girl who dresses like your brother
I am genderless, formless, boundless
I am who I want you to see

Who are you?  The mirror asks me, searches for an indication of
My gender, but you are looking at the wrong thing, looking
In the wrong place; if you want to find me
Go back to that alley and there I will be

Face pressed in the gravel, sucking in dirt, staining the rocks
Attacked by a monster, a beast, a nightmare
There I am, you see, that little girl with long hair and bright eyes
There I am, becoming the little genderless one, safe in my refuge

My genderless paradise where monsters never attack
The pretty-faced boy, the girl who looks like Peter Pan
Somehow beautiful in the gray, somehow brighter in the middle
A boy with a pretty face, I will be who I want to be today.

Ly Hansen

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