His arms are firmly wrapped around his bare chest

No one will ever see beneath

He cries so hard because he feels he is sick

The whole world agrees

He's not who he knows he is

He's not a man

He's just confused

He's not even himself

They taunt him with triggering slurs

She

Her

Lady

Girl

Daughter

Sister

Woman

That's not who he is

He's the boy who has to fight to be himself

He is an alien in his own skin

He is the boy who is constantly burning inside

The fire of self-hate

Why does his body not fit?

No one can see his body

His anatomy is a mess

He endures the pain of each simple breath to ensure he is flat enough

His chest is constantly taunting him

Little monsters conspiring

'You'll never pass.'

'Who are you kidding? You're little girl trying to act like a man.'

'Fake.'

'Oh look. Breasts. You're still a girl.'

'Nothing downstairs.'

'Better off dead.'

He sobs, clawing at his flesh

Hoping the nails will drive the monsters out

He wants them to drown in the pain

Maybe he just wants to drown alongside them

He tries to summon his courage to push through another day

Maybe the next one he'll be muscular

Maybe tomorrow he'll be flat chested

Maybe at sunrise he'll be accepted

Maybe another time he'll able to accept himself

He lies in bed every night, thinking

Tomorrow will be the day

Tomorrow I'll find a friend

Tomorrow I'll be that much closer to being myself

He looks up at the ceiling

And he realises he still hates his own guts

Wishes he was dead

Wishes he could just end it all

Pain is a bottomless well

Every time he dips inside

New pools form on his heart

He opens his window to feel the cold air

The stars in the sky shine bright

They all seem to say:

Tonight is not your night

You cannot die alone tonight

You must live to see the sun of the dawn

You're not alone

The days look like nights, so dark

But someday

You'll be who you really are

Your body is trivial

What your mind tells you,

You should trust it

He closes his window

Then his eyes as he sits down on his bed

He contemplates the words

He feels them nestle in his heart

The craters don't feel so empty

The cracks don't feel so deep

The scars don't feel so rough

He knows the monsters will return

But he'll fight

Tonight is not his last night

He is valid to himself and the stars

He will not be called sick

He will not be subject to the slurs

He will not lie

He will not give in

He will not stop being himself

HE

IS

A

MAN