Josephine Kinlan

             photo by Serena Deng

Peering into these soft brown eyes—

These caramelized, chocolatized, crystalline pies

I ponder what breed of decreed demise

Struck down this frame to shame and pride pulverized


Whom or what can (please!) attest

For this, before my orbs of guest

Had wrought this girl inside her chest

And placed such pain behind her breast


Caught between two worlds of lore:

Of peach or golden, pale or sore

Dear, she’s as muddled as one could be

Girl or boy — impossibly me.


And yet she is me, reflected I see 

But her eyes appear so differently

Like fibers of magnet, which dart everywhere;

Atop her, like string, lie wires of hair


Confined behind plaster for months on end

Who she was, forgotten. If she ever was, unknown.

And now, the maxim, ‘just be who you are’

Seems daunting a task with such knowledge afar