ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the February 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "Is that all you've got?" square in my 1-1-16 card for the Spies, Secret Agents, and Noir Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.


"Making Space"


Astin has grown up struggling
to make space for xyrself
in a culture where doing so
led to invalidation or exclusion,

always being lied to and about
because people refused
to accept the truth.

Astin has spent xyr life
looking at society and asking,
"Is that all you've got?"

On a starship, it gets easier
to make space, because
there is nothing but space
outside the hull,

easier to discover self
in the absence of others,
easier to be xyrself instead
of being othered.

Sometimes it still leaves Astin
looking within and wondering,
"Is that all you've got?"

In the Lacuna, Astin discovers
how much better it feels
when those around you
make space for you.

It is sweet to look around
and see a reflection of self
instead of rejection, and yet,

there isn't much made yet
for the other-gendered, which
leaves Astin asking sadly,
"Is that all you've got?"

It's only after xe meets
Shuttlecock and she asks xyr
for a wishlist of clothes
made for space,

then looks at the list
and says wonderingly,
"Is that all you've got?"

that Astin finally realizes
what acceptance feels like.

* * *

Notes:

Astin is nonbinary and uses the pronouns xe, xyr, and xyrself. Discrimination can be serious, often referred to as cissexism.

Othering and erasure are divisive processes in culture.

Lovely.

Date: 2016-02-23 08:22 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
No words yet, still processing. Just... HAPPYSIGH.

Re: Lovely.

Date: 2016-02-23 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Same!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-02-24 02:27 am (UTC)
fyreharper: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fyreharper
<3

dawwww

Date: 2016-03-03 05:17 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-02-24 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
"that Astin finally realizes
what acceptance feels like."

Perhaps it's only possible in a culture where everyone else in it is also looking for acceptance?

[Thanks for a lovely poem--I've had a tiring day so finding THIS waiting for me was a real treat.]
:^)

Yes!

Date: 2016-02-24 07:48 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
Exactly like this. Not only recognizing that someone is a person, not a stereotype or caricature, but acknowledging that the person has needs that are not met in their current environment, and helping meet them. I'm working hard on defining and making my own space right now; it's difficult and tiring, and reading this was an excellent restorative.

I particularly liked the way the "you've" changes its focus every time it appears, and the big dose of satisfaction for Astin when Shuttlecock lets xyr know that xe can help define xyr own space, and not be constrained by how others view it. <3 <3 <3!

Re: Yes!

Date: 2016-02-24 09:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Exactly like this. <<

*happydance*

>> Not only recognizing that someone is a person, not a stereotype or caricature, but acknowledging that the person has needs that are not met in their current environment, and helping meet them.<<

The difference between acceptance and welcome, as you once said.

>> I'm working hard on defining and making my own space right now; it's difficult and tiring, and reading this was an excellent restorative.<<

Yes, it is exhausting. I'm glad I could help.

>> I particularly liked the way the "you've" changes its focus every time it appears, <<

:D I like working with parallels and repetitions. I tend to iterate them like this, though, instead of keeping everything the same.

>> and the big dose of satisfaction for Astin when Shuttlecock lets xyr know that xe can help define xyr own space, and not be constrained by how others view it. <3 <3 <3! <<

Yay!

Profile

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
ysabetwordsmith

April 2019

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 181920
21222324252627
282930    

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags