I hope one day I’ll tell the truth
how I feel and how I look
and risk the love you feel for me
and invite the loathing you reserve
for girls that ogle at girls
and boys who do likewise.

Those who hear my voice and say
“Ma’am” wouldn’t make the same mistake
if they saw my beard before they spoke.
They suspect, or just share the joke
with friends who have a hearty laugh
for androgyny is ever so funny
in voice or look or the way you walk
or even in the way you fall in love.

Leaving the comfort of the closet is really
poor temptation indeed.

Main illustration credit: Anupam Hazra (artwork created with pen ink and highlighter marker pens on art paper).