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I walked into your cascading Greco-roman pillars, 

Bright faced and dead-eyed, wearing my favorite 

Shirt that sparked a nervous conversation. 

I was naive and uninformed then, an inkling 

Of hope pulsated through my hands. 

 

You befriended me a tutor with similar 

Metropolitan love for freedom and isolation, 

Recognized within me something I buried long ago. 

That deep curiosity was sparked after years of 

Deep shame led to neglect and depression. 

 

A bud in my stomach began to bloom

The second the sharp needle pierced 

The flimsy cartilage inside my nose.

Deep euphoria thrilled from the wound in

My nose to the deepest core of my being. 

 

Somehow I felt such a simple movement 

A quick push through my nose tip 

Kindled a fire of self-exploration,

One that spread into a 

Field burning brightly of discovery. 

 

By my second semester of that ever-changing 

Form of the first year, I had learned the meaning 

Of the correct form of hair care in the state 

Of a shitty dye job and curls that 

Finally reached the nape of my neck. 

 

I kept cutting it shorter and shorter, 

Started applying more dye to remove 

The deep black of my hair. 

The deep roots were a homage to 

A life, I realized, I was unhappy in.

 

By sophomore year, I began

Experimenting with the idea of my gender 

Identity being misplaced, lost in a haystack pile 

That was once too scattered to touch 

And to even begin the healing. 

 

The healing started with the change in 

An outwardly look in regards to my identity, 

Then it slowly bloomed into a name change.

A name change bloomed into shaved sides, 

Shaved sides became a need to grow and explore. 

Syd Abad

Wells '22

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ― Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light
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