“The Man Inside of Me” by Courtney Campbell

June 17, 2015

For the entire month of June RESTLESS is celebrating Pride by featuring work exclusively by LGBTQ writers. Check out the “Pride2015” tag for more.

Smooth steel skims
the upper part of trembling thighs
as I contemplate making
my final cut.
Flabby skin marred with scars,
the whispered “fag”
echoing through high school halls.
All these marks remain unnoticed, untouched,
and unseen under long denim skirts
and baggy basketball shorts.
I am the man,
I am a man,
I identify with
The jagged and jaded slashes formed
in frustration from the one within me,
the man who has been confined to my belly
since the time of my conception
and periodically tries to scrape
and claw his way out
from under the soft skin
that smothers him.
He doesn’t understand
the dangers of exposure.
How he will be a fledgling
flung into the world,
his family having snatched
the roof that covered the soft spot
on the crown of his head.


Courtney CampbellCourtney Campbell graduated from Del Mar College with an Associate of Arts degree in English with Emphasis in Literature. She currently attends the Corpus Christi branch of Texas A&M University where she majors in English and minors in Creative Writing. Her short story, “Existential Exorcism,” is published in the Linden Avenue Literary Journal; her poem, “Ode to the Clitoris,” in the Switchgrass Review, and her creative nonfiction piece, “The Flaming Vibrator,” in Blotterature Literary Magazine. In addition, another poem titled “A Glimmer of Joy” is forthcoming in Sun & Sandstone.

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