One Poem by Syd Westley


To become a boy was not so expensive

When disrobing, my lover did not gaze with pleasure at the slight curve of my hip

When fucking, I did not float to the walls and watch from afar

Nothing in me loved it 

Testosterone was not a toxin and would not kill my eggs

I did not want a child or had never believed I could have one

I included a mirror in a poem

My mother could read this and would not weep

I did not love her or my father or my sister

At the beach, I could run into the water & feel the waves against my chest

There was no one to look

I built myself with my own hands

The speakers of my poems were not misgendered during workshop

I was allowed to speak

At the club, no one had filmed me with a lover over the bathroom stall 

They did not call it lesbian sex & a crowd of people did not agree

I had not been named for my grandfather

We did not have the same cheeks, the same stupid smile

No one thought of parts of me as dead

I realized earlier how good I look in a suit

The doctor did not say, the process is very simple


About the Author

Syd Westley (they/them) is a queer, mixed-race, non-binary poet from the Bay Area. They are pursuing a B.A. from Stanford in Comparative Literature with a focus on marginalized literatures and poetics of America. Westley received the 2019 Justin Chin Scholarship from Lambda Literary and a 2021 scholarship to the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute. Their poems have been published by or are forthcoming from Lantern Review, Frontier Poetry, Dissonance Press, and others.

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