Size / / /


The testosterone makes me look
half-beast. My heart hammers each time
I see the needle. Excitement and stress
are the same emotion, my therapist tells me.
It feels more and more like fear.
My head has become a bull: full of
violent thoughts that I don't
remember having before the injection.
The urges, the focused precision.
I am always threading the eye of a needle,
I am always on guard for Theseus.
The hormones have turned my body
into a hairy landscape of tunnels
& my mind becomes the labyrinth
to escape. I wait, I wait, I wait
for a surgery date that does not come.
If I’m rejected, without a scalpel,
I will have no way of sword-fighting.
How can I cut the Minotaur down
if I still have parts of me,
blocking the entranceway to the maze?

No answer comes.
Days pass. Months. Hormones
even out. My upper lip looks less
like a dusting of black snow
and more like a wall. You're normalizing.
Catching up to the rest of us, my therapist says.
The shadows make her look half-human.
What if the Minotaur never lived in
my body? What if the Minotaur was
a lie to keep people buying scalpels as swords,
to keep a line of invisible men fighting, holding
hopeful tricks in their hands?
What if my body could follow my mind
and untwist to form a place I
could live in, sold as is, instead?
What if, broken and
sharply violent like a rock to Goliath,
my body was a home instead?

I like the resolution.
Fuck Minos, & sword-swallowers,
starving children, and Theseus.
I follow the red thread of my veins
from the needle to the injection
to the line-up to the sidewalk
& I start my way home.

Evelyn Deshane’s creative and nonfiction work has appeared in Plenitude Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, The Atlantic, Lackington’s, and Bitch Magazine, among other publications. Evelyn (pron. Eve-a-lyn) received an MA from Trent University and is currently completing a PhD at the University of Waterloo. Evelyn’s most recent project #Trans is an edited collection about transgender and nonbinary identity online. Visit for more info.
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