dis·so·nant (/disənənt/ adjective): lacking harmony. unsuitable or unusual in combination; clashing.

"irregular, dissonant chords"
synonyms: inharmonious, discordant, unmelodious, atonal, off-key, cacophonous
"dissonant sounds"

dissonance has given me nothing. 

dissonance has given me a far-too-large shirt i wear to bed
that hangs from the shelves of my shoulders 
and drapes down my body 
and i think 
just for a moment 
that it hides my curves

dissonance has given me a worn pair of boxers
blue plaid fraying at the edges
i wear them when i sleep and the elastic waistband rides up above my hips 
i pull them back down and i stare at my body in the mirror 
wonder why underwear makes me feel out-of-place or calmer 

and when i wake up 
my legs have a trail of blood down them 
drying, sticky red bathing my inner thighs 
and i stare at my sheets 
strip the bed and start the washing machine at 2 in the morning
sit with a quilt wrapped around my shoulders 
wondering if i could cut the fabric with the blades of my bones

i scrub at the skin with a white cloth 
that becomes a dark, muddy red color the longer i go at it 
clean up all the blood and strip the boxers from my hips 
throw them in the wash and watch my body seem to draw in on itself 

i curl a little farther into the shirt 
pull the quilt tighter 
sit on top of the washing machine 
and go to put on underwear 

and i feel, 
sitting here with pain clenching distantly at my abdomen 
hunched over and with something like bile gathering in my throat 
i feel dissonant 

and i feel scared, 
scared of myself, scared of this body 

because when i pull the boxers out of the wash 
snap out of my vacant stare 
after putting them through the dryer
when i slip the elastic waistband over the jut of my hips 

well, 
it tells me one thing. 

the faint redness from where i scrubbed too hard with the cloth 
white turning muddy 
my blood sticking to my skin 

it tells me, 

you are not a boy. 

The End

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