Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Making Space"

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.

* * *


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.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, weblit, writing
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