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We fear what we can’t define.

I come to you, cupping my breasts:
these sometimes strangers
negating my newfound pronouns.

Have you ever bound your chest?
The first time, I did it with elastic bandages:
another actor walking around my chest,
securing the bust espionage with
metal fasteners. It took three rolls.
Safe beneath a tuxedo shirt, mustard vest
and green velveteen coat (with tails),
I felt a sense of power and freedom
that ended up meaning more than
I could comprehend at the time.

I have two binders now; they are safer.
They flatten tissue without the harsh
compression of fluids. I pull them
over my shoulders and delight
in the flatness of my chest.

A passerby yells
“Hey, white boy!”

And my heart leaps
outside of the binding.

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