Feb 1, 2011 | 2011 Winter - Intersections, Articles, Poetry

By Jan Steckel

When I help a woman on with her jacket,
My sexuality grabs my gender identity
and waltzes it around the room.

I’m a woman, but there’s a man in me.
He’s a bit of a fop, sort of a pansy.
He might be a fag.

Why shouldn’t everything about me be fluid?
I’m a squishy skin-bag of water and salt, ocean inside and out.

As a child, I was sure I was a boy.
The heroes of all the best books were boys.
I pretty much lived in my head, what I read.

Now I feel more like a woman –
except around straight women.
Then I feel like a butch lunk.

My husband thinks I’m a femme
because I wear lavender, (color and scent),
and ask him to open jars.

All roads meet in me:
Butch when I wake up,
femme at lunch.

Androgynous at dinner,
totally trans all night.
Can I get that door for you?

Jan is an Oakland, California, writer, a bisexual activist and a former pediatrician who has published a chapbook of poetry, The Underwater Hospital (Zeitgeist Press, 2006) and another of fiction, Mixing Tracks (Gertrude Press, 2009). Her writing has appeared in Bi Women, Anything That Moves, Bi Magazine, Bi Tribune and elsewhere.

Related Articles