I dreamed, or could dream, that I wanted, and that I was allowed to want, and that my desire did not make me ugly;
that it did not cut out my tongue and leave me to bleed out still wanting, gasping, throat flooding, drowning in the audacity of my existence;
that my hands did not shake, that I could breathe, that I was loved.
There is something terribly foreign about my body, impenetrable. Colonized and yearning for meaning without context.
He puts his hands on me, and I shake. I don't want it; but I do; but do I? I don't know what it means for me to want.
Want, decontextualized: myself.
I kiss him back. I feel used.
Butch, (n.) Something within me, something without me. Something taken from me. Something I love. Something I must be. Something I cannot be. Something sexy, something undesirable. Something with history. Something loved.
He overwhelms me, consumes me, unnoticed. My tongue is a serpent of betrayal. I cannot breathe, cannot move. I love him. I am nothing. I am nothing, aching, nothing. He makes me more of what I am.
I have the audacity to be loved.
Sathya Baskaran is an 18-year-old student, writer, and library fiend located in the South Bay Area. They identify as a bisexual, bigender, diasporic South Asian. They write primarily about mental health and growing up.
This issue of Chelsea Station was co-edited by
Mitch Kellaway, AJ Sass, and Noah Grabeel.