I am Sketchman

Poems by Thalén Rogers 

It’s a girl!

As I come out of the womb,

I hear,

“It’s a girl!”

Scrubbed up doctors, happy parents,

That’s what they said.

Long hair, dresses, the colour pink.

Flowers, baby dolls, Barbie and Ken.

Tea parties, ballet, no karate.

Why do I hate dresses?

Why did I give Barbie a haircut?

I am a girl, that’s what they said.

There’s something wrong with me.

I can never speak openly.

I am a girl, that’s what they said.


Childhood dreams

Fantasy themes

Boyish she seems.

Adult sanities


Dreams that are realities.


Top surgery,

Finally free.

Who wants to be a man?

Little boy, don’t become a man.

Men are unreliable;

Men are childish;

Men are insensitive.

Little boy, don’t become a man.

Men are selfish;

Men are rude;

Men are aggressive.

Little boy, don’t become a man.

Men hurt women.

Men rape women.

Men kill women.

So, the little boy suppressed his masculinity;

He stayed the girl everyone expected him to be.

But he had killed a part of himself,

Without which he could not live very long.

Gender dysphoria

What is this strange feeling?

In my body,

Something is wrong.

I am sick to the bone.

Please give me some healing,

I can’t get rid of this feeling.

Breasts in flower,

What an unholy power

To suckle at my unwilling chest.

Strange blood –

What a bizarre flood.

It’s my masculinity leaking out.

Here in the shower,

I have no power.

I can’t look down.

Body on fire,

Transition desire.



Body in action; verb of self; manifest in matter

I am human,

But where is my matter?

I have no body –

No self in time and space.

A gentle touch or a soft hug – 

That’s the purest expression of affection.

It’s something we can feel,

So that we know love is definitely real.

But I have no body – 

No tactile grounding to feel.

How do I know that your love is real?


A stranger stands in my space –

Who is this woman taking my place?

She has slender arms

And a narrow waist.

Worst of all, 

These are her breasts

That seem to cleave to my chest.

I clothe myself

And the woman slowly disappears.

My clothes give some relief –

I am a ghost, a man shell.

But flimsy clothes

Cannot fill

The emptiness I feel.

Late at night

I work away in the dark

Sketching an outline

One that is mine

And clearly defined.

This is the real me.

I am Sketchman.

Can you still love me –

This fleshless sketch that I am?