locked out

locked 

out

By Andrea Chow '25

This poem is about gender, identity, and one's relationship to the body.

locked out

I remember one summer

when the power went out.

my sister and I had been riding our bikes around town

and we got locked out of our house.

I threw her over my shoulders and

pushed her into a bathroom window,

where she climbed down the toilet tank

and ran to the door to let me in.

sometimes, I look at myself in the mirror.

I cannot see myself.

I peer through the blinds

into the windows of my eyes,

knocking on doors, 

asking to be let in;

I hang spare key earrings

by my picket fence face

and tie doormat ribbons

into my braids;

I drape a dress over my wood-frame body

like a tablecloth over the dinner table,

as if my body is worth feasting over,

as if my spine is strong enough

to hold a family together.

I ring the doorbell

and wait in front of the mirror

hoping maybe I can feel welcomed in.

but it's summer right now,

my legs are covered,

and the power's out.

Featured image:

'May'
Andrea Young
Licensed under CC BY 4.0