Avery Garcia

Dysphoria (of a Gender Fluid)

I’m a puzzle,
Always shifting.
The pieces have definite shapes, right?
This one has a hole here in the shape of that one’s knob.
They go together.
Don’t they?
Or are they?
I try them together but the pieces don’t fit.
This one’s curves have changed,
I don’t remember them sloped like that before.
But I just saw it a second ago,
A turn of my head and the wood rearranged.
Great, now the pieces don’t fit.
I already know what the picture looks like,
It’s one of me,
But all the pieces of the puzzle just won’t lock together.
Once one pair seems to click, four more develop gaps in their outlines.

I’m sick of using folded paper to fill in the spaces.
Sure, they complete the picture for a while,
But the paper is too flimsy
And can never match the image
Plastered on each piece,
Not the grain nor definition,
Definitely not the color or divided shapes
That form the picture in the first place.

It’s been four hours later and I’ve gone through all the pieces.
My hands have graced all of them a thousand times over,
But the order to make all of them harmonize eludes me.
I’m damned;
Will the puzzle ever be finished?
Under the knife,
I can alter their edges,
Make certain sides flat and even
While narrowing others.
But what if I’m never happy with the way they’ll be?
What if I cut them wrong and curse the whole puzzle
To an existence of being incomplete?
What if I don’t know the picture the way I thought I did?
What if it changes permanently and the pieces don’t feel right again?
Should I just be happy with what I have?

It’s been four more hours,
In what feels like four seconds,
And I’ve had an epiphany:
This puzzle may be hard,
It may be confusing,
But it’s my puzzle
And I love it.
Sure, the pieces may shift,
Some stretch while others shrink
In the blink of an eye,
But I will always know the image
Whether or not it’s fully connected
Because that puzzle is of me.
And I’ve got the rest of my life to figure it out.

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