Jason Phoebe Rusch

Do you feel like you were born in the wrong body?

The truth of it is I don’t feel like a man or a woman
so much as a Janus-faced alien

from a Ursula K. LeGuin novel; like a radish
buried underground, plump,

both womanly
and phallic; like a bearded lady king

on a fiberglass throne; like a symphony rather than
a single note;

like my body is good—I mean,
good enough

as any spare:
there’s a pleasure in it,

in doubling, pleasure heady as helium,
in being both inside and outside

a skin; in building a second

like a dam or hutch, a face
to wear like a home

in molting
whatever no longer serves me

when and if
I feel like it. I may never

remove my breasts because
in truth, I like them.

I won’t lie to prove music to you,
music you can’t hear outside my skull.

I can only be my own permission.

Jason Phoebe Rusch has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan. Their stories, poems and essays have appeared in The Rumpus, Lambda Literary’s Poetry Spotlight, and Vice, among others. More of their work can be found at jasonphoeberusch.com