By Emma Love
I told my mom that my breasts don’t
belong to me.
The news came on
and you smiled at the miles between us.
And all I could think
That’s what a woman looks like
Poised. Feminine. Beautiful.
I told my sister that I loved another girl.
Don’t tell anyone, she said
That’s a bell you can’t un-ring.
But I took a hammer to that bell and still
You cut your hair – a bold move
The world rejoiced.
I told my father that I didn’t belong
in this world.
You’re either one or another
It’s just the facts he said.
But the title of Woman or Man
Don’t belong to my body
Nor my mind.
But you are America’s lady,
The epitome of a Woman.
I’m telling you I am one of many.
We are given these coffins
That the ignorant call gender roles
But we will not bury ourselves.
We will not submit to the silent murder of our identities.
I speak – my world laughs.
You are the Woman of women
You have the ear of the world
You speak – the world listens.
Emma is 18 years old and lives in Mukilteo, Washington. Emma plans to earn a degree in political science and a law degree in order to work in human rights law.