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to the elder who misgendered me nasty

January 9, 2018

 

Inspired by a day job experience.

 

Ma’am.

 

When a voice is considered maternal,
The young defer to ma’am
And the old refer to sweetheart.
To them, gender is perception.
So I play the mother-magician

 

Ma’am.

 

I suffer this woman’s slings,
Toggling between conversations
With doctors’ offices and insurances
Assuring that her breathing difficulties
Are strictly her fault

 

Ma’am.

 

She towers over my suggestions
To let messages take effect.
I explain verbatim: She needs to wait,
Shading she is not the only patient
Needing concentrated effort

 

Ma’am.

 

In that grinding modem-tone,
Blistering me with beetled idiocy
And her upper east snob-nose
Like I’m her ignorant mammy
To spit breath and sight on

 

Ma’am.

 

In her I don’t need myself dictated
Manner of authoritarian servitude,
Made worse by her mention of Trump,
Her condescension of liberals
That made her insurance possible

 

Ma’am.

 

I’m a man.
 

Had it with her sniveling misgendering,
Intolerably talking down to me,
Tossing her Ivy League degrees,
Her administrative weight,
All to offer a half-hearted apology:

 

I thought your name was Ryna.

 

With a snort, I forward her to the nurse
Who has her laundry list of grievances,
Unable to be bothered by the knock,
The snob-knobbed sleep apnea
Of an academic carapace.

 

Ma’am.

 

My phone is full of poisoned bandies.
I transfer hot air to cold water,
Neither mixing to listen, ototoxic to
One another.  I shut off.  Silence:
My gender returning to self again.

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Ryan Oliveira

Ideas.  I'm full of them.

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