Lin Pang



and once I was born

small, tiny, wrapped up in pink bows

a hospital room folklore

a womanhood I never asked to inherit


I mean to say:

I am nobody’s daughter

Ma’s womb a wound

that birthed out a black hole

a gender fucked thing

that swallows all the goodness in the room



and once I refused to shave my body hair

Ma hurled a razor at my head

I picked it up off the floor

almost used it to cut something else open


she means to say:

she already has a son


she says this in the way

she pours me chrysanthemum tea and

buys me blouses and asks about my boyfriend


who is not my boyfriend

my partner is  陰陽人 too


I say   queer

I say    non binary

all words for such a heavy sliceable body

they squirm on my tongue

make a choked sound on the way out of my mouth


I mean to say:

I don’t always feel daughter


I mean to say:

I don’t always feel son

don’t even feel like a body most of the time




my gender still loves Ma

even if she does not love it back

even if she does not have the words for it


I don’t always have the words for it either

* yin yang person or person with feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) qualities or gender nonconforming


Lin Pang is a queer Asian American poet, teaching artist, and youth worker based in Boston. They are a Virgo who loves autumn, dark lipstick, and tenderness.


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