Poem: Dress Man

first time I put a dress on
no, not a dress shirt!
a dress
it had polka dots and flower pots
a ribbon at the back
to accentuate the waist
or cut lunch some slack

Artwork by Shalaka Pai

first time I put a dress on
no, not a dress shirt!
a dress
it had polka dots and flower pots
a ribbon at the back
to accentuate the waist
or cut lunch some slack

it was cut at the shoulder
cut above the knee
man i feel like a woman, i thought
and smiled with glee
the gender was flowing
my movement was slowing
cos i was carrying a dress!
not a dress shirt

i bought many more, wore them several times
one would think I was feeling
like a fem in her prime
but with each dress, and the more times i wore
i got to know
i was a man in a dress
nothing less, nothing more

~to crossing dress without crossing gender!

About the guest author

Esthappen

Esthappen is a queer playwright and communications specialist. He runs Somethings Simple, a queer arts and political space. His last play Given investigated how perpetrators of sexual violence navigate their lives. Esthappen currently works at Centre for Catalyzing Change (formerly CEDPA) in Delhi.