Are you a man?!

  • Posted on February 11, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Hey! Mister Transvestite!
Are you a man?!

The small white car, the window wound,
the girlfriend to impress, observance
in the absence of sight or sense – all
wound into the tightness of a mind
so glazed it couldn’t see out of itself.

Not spoken, not enquired,
but shouted – all up the wide unpeopled
traffic-busy street, wounding open summer
windows – while my mind is unconcerned
to even air such self-evidential things.
His, too small to enclose the size of a reply.

The street received his words – so good
at collecting litter, dust, detritus – I thought
to turn and answer; but who? The girl –
does he always behave like this? The man –
yes, I suppose I am a man (if I’m a transvestite)
but a nice one; and you?

The T-word is not a word I like to use – reserved
for self-assurance over a glass, regretted afterwards
because it was said in expectation, in place of
a better term, more understanding, more
politically correct, accepting and descriptive –
but I shall use it. He was a twat.

And if anything hung there in my thoughts,
it was the girl, who saw me at the crossroads
looked again and told ‘her man’. I hoped
she saw two people as themselves: me and him –
saw one with quiet confidence, and another
with his certainties insultingly plain.

The small white car, its windows wound,
diminished having made no mark, except
inside. Two people were slightly changed
that sunny afternoon, after the jokes, the self-
congratulatory jibes, and the transvestite who
made their day – walked away, and defined a man.

2011 © Andie Davidson

From the new collection Realisations published by Bramley Press.

 

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1 Comment on Are you a man?!

  1. [...] I was not a woman after all. Once, when I didn’t, I was shouted at from a car. The story is Hey, Mr Transvestite, where I learned that people’s responses said more about them than about me. Always. Even my [...]

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