An Open Letter to my Parents

by Ella Truesdale


I was a child who lived in shades of rose

But my childhood has come to die.

My vision is colored lilac gold

Pink and blue are but of times gone by.


My brother always wanted a brother

And I long to tell him that he does.

Sometimes -- of course, just sometimes --

I shift like water to a new form because


I am flowing with ideas wrapped in skin.

Ideas have no genitals, no sex.

I am more than the split in my jeans

Don't I know more than anyone how I exist?


Mom, dad, your little girl isn't real.

Your daughter now bleeds into your son

Then into your child who is neither.

But in every self, it's still love for which I long.


You cannot understand this

But maybe because you do not try.

You cannot control this

I know this is a part of me, only mine.


Listen, listen, you can't tell me what I am.

I am wind and stardust and a thousand raging seas

I am the earth and all its painful gifts.

I am a person in a body that does not define me.


A person is too much for a mere ideal

Too easy to shatter a perception

That glass box you want to put me in

The mirror image is your imagination


And only on cracking it does my face show.

I'm sorry I'm not that child you want.

I'm not sorry I'm so, so much more.

Paint blurs into lilac from blush and cyan.