How Does One Become ‘Man Enough’?

I live in every woman’s womb
trying to understand where and
how to ‘be a man’ because clearly
my mother failed to raise the man
this society desires. The gender
binary inside your own stomach
keeps you hungry of all the things
you may or may not be able to live
with it. For the longest of time I
suffered inside loose shirts with
a body that never appealed to
anyone. My skin still have rusted
edges of unworthy eyes of every
man that has touched my naked skin
and yet failed to hold on to it because
skins of lust and skins of love is how
you get categorised in this standard
of beauty. I still ask myself, what if
my mother never gave birth to me?
Would this world know that people
like me exist? How do I even describe
the pain when people have failed to
accept our presence?

Moving away from home and
still carrying the same skin where
my mother oiled it with her
palms, I learnt how it took me every
ounce to love it because it is just not
my skin but my mother’s too. Being a
man in this society has always been
a battle to me because how dare I
wore a pink top, crossed your legs,
put on makeup?

I wish my skin held me and said that
it’s beautiful, it’s that part of my body
which no one can take it away but I
was never reminded of it. I was
always reminded of abandonment,
I was reminded of every failed
episode to go out with this skin,
I was reminded of the times when
I pulled my sleeves to cover my
bruises from not loving it enough.
They say, your skin and your body
are always on a war to let each other
sustain but how do you make them
believe you really want to love them
but it’s just not enough. Ma knows
how I always wanted to fit in the
shirts she brought for me but I failed,
my body failed and she still loved me.
so why can’t this world? My skin is a
poem I cover every night because my
mother always told me beautiful
things never show their beauty
themselves, they are uncovered

Will you still touch me even when the bruises consume most of my skin?

Harshit, battling everyday with a body consuming voices of hatred.

Harshit Jalan is a 21-year-old Journalism student, who writes poems and articles on gender and queer representation. You can find Harshit on Instagram @harshitbreathingpoetry__