Photo of rippled water with reflections and leaves sitting on the surface.

‘Dysphoria’ by Mattie-Bretton Hughes

Content warning: dysphoria.

My body.
My vessel on this earth.
Even though we do not always see eye-to-eye,
even though I hurt you from time to time, 
I love you. I truly do.
The times we co-exist, 
I could leap through blooming meadows, 
naked, like a newborn.
Loving awareness, untouched by darkness.
Skin glowing, so faint it shines blue
in the light of the moon.
Eyes gleaming, cobalt and stone.
Sparkling like stars falling in a still lagoon.
Then I see my reflection staring back at me.
Distorted in the ripple of orange falling leaves.
And I’m not me.
The stars flicker, fade out. 
The moon plays hide-and-seek,
obscurity shrouds me, and I run.
Exposed to truth.
There’s no refuge I can find,
pursued by inevitable confines.
Who is she?
This body is not me. 

Photo of rippled water with reflections and leaves sitting on the surface.

About the author

Mattie-Bretton Hughes (He/Him) is a disabled, trans-nonbinary writer from Detroit, Michigan. He writes poetry to explore his identity, disability, mental health, addiction, and LGBTQ activism. His writing is usually mixed with themes of nature and the stars, and always a message of hope, self-acceptance and love. He is currently working on a full-length poetry book, as well as a novel series. He enjoys drinking tea, reading, writing reviews on Goodreads, and unconditional love from a blind cat. Mattie-Bretton has work forthcoming in Querencia Press.

Photo by Valentin Salja on Unsplash.

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