“Miss,” a new poem from E.M. Billington, about gender euphoria  — that feeling when at last being recognized as who you truly are.


she would not normally go out

wearing the olive-green dress and red

lipstick she dreamed about when she

was young, mistakenly being raised

as a boy with bruised knees

and cropped hair where

there should have been something

entirely different.


it takes courage, to be

out with this horde of others

who are in their early stages just

like her, and even though

this is a greasy fast food place,

nearly empty after one o’clock

on a sprawling suburban morning, her nerves

are a live wire underneath her

skin, threatening to electrify

whatever touches it.


she’s the one

at the counter, picking up the burgers

and fries for the rest of the table and when

the cashier smiles at her and calls her


she glows incandescent.