Lip McDonald



i think i am my most masculine when there is glitter
painting my cheekbones,

and my most feminine
when i am wearing the shirt i stole from my father’s dresser.

i think i am most like myself when i am somewhere
in between

and i am standing in a shower that holds no names or pronouns - only steam -

trying to care for and rebuild this body,
this old moldering structure.

i am learning
how to make a chapel out of this vessel instead of trying to gut its pews,

how to stand in front of a bathroom mirror and not see myself
shattered in stained glass,

how to stop drawing new faces on myself
in the post shower fog.

how to instead make this cleansing a sacred ritual,

shape all this flesh

and the ways it bends, soft and tender,

into something i can call strong. call petros - the rock upon which the church was built -

i can write
a psalm about.

just wiping the dirt from off my skin

feels damn close
to a communion wafer resting on my tongue,

feels like finally accepting all the care
that i deserve.

sometimes i almost feel that i could call myself hallowed ground,

a place where God has rested their hand, has drawn testament from my bones, etched gospel across every dysphoric inch.

at the end of the day
when i am peeling off my shirt

in the silence of an empty room and the golden hour sunlight
is pouring through the window,,

it casts just the right shadows across my body,
dulls all its sharp edges,

and makes it look almost like something
holy -

like something worth all
of these prayers.

Lip McDonald is a queer transmasc performance poet currently based in Boston. Their greatest accomplishments include winning "Most Likely to Be a Game Show Host" in 8th grade and knowing the words to every My Chemical Romance song. Catch more of their work at the Emerson Poetry Project, the Boston Poetry Slam, and their recent collaborative chapbook with Em Taylor titled, "Gender??? In This Economy???".