how would their parents react
if they knew what these children were doing at night?
in the hidden safety of rehearsals, of group chats,
of school lunch tables,
they’re swapping names, rearranging the alphabet together,
hypothetically trading limbs and shapes and silhouettes
and wondering what it would take to live
a life that fits, to wear skin like skin and not a costume,
to not have to think twice when someone asks
for your name. oh, to have a name you can wear
like skin and not a costume, in places other than
the hidden safety of rehearsals, of group chats,
of school lunch tables. to live a life that fits
and hoping it won’t take everything.
August Hawley (he/him) is a trans man from Michigan who writes about gender, grief, hope, and where they intersect. Outside of writing, he works as a caretaker and spends his free time taking photos, making art, and learning instruments. He was previously a blog- ger for Sunday Mornings at the River, and has appeared in their Spring 2022 anthology, as well as their 2023 Poetry Diary.