The Past Life of K

Past Life of K.louis-blythe-218678-unsplash


I was with you

And I was so afraid of the silence

And the mistakes we made

But I followed you into safety

Or what I thought was safe


And we went up a mountain

To a place in the sky

Where a soldier was drilling

And I saw into his face

And I thought to myself

I would never want to be

This poor boy on his way in


And down a corridor

I walked through a door

And I realized I was a boy

SuddenlyI was a boy

So I began practicing

Fighting, drilling


And I looked at myself

And felt thunder and lightning

But it wasn’t a sign from god

Only the distant fire I heard

And I looked at myself

But could not form a word

I saw only a boy’s face

Only full of hate


And I floated above what had becomeme

And I realized I had to unite with me

In the body of a boy


And I felt my arms

My hands, my legs

But could no longer feel myself

And I felt the battle

Beginning to move in me

And I felt myself growing

As strong as a boy

As strong as a man


And I knew things I’d never known before

And something inside me said

To enjoy the fight

This is all right

And if I am a boy

Then it must be god’s will

That I learn for god’s sake


But the first boy I killedwas all by mistake

We were all so afraidthen

He got in my way

And I saw that his face was nothing like mine

At the time

Only his face was just like mine


So I shot

And saw him fly back like a bird

And I was so glad that it was not me

That it was him instead of me

And I wanted to run

Like a woman

Like a girl

I wanted to run

But I didn’t want to be weak


And a part of me floated up

And a part of me looked down

At a boy who kills and can feel ill

And so I felt so ill

I wandered somewhere

Where there was a girl like me

Soft and prettylike me


But a whoresmiled at me

And closed the door


And I finally felt safe

And there in her arms I thought

I never want to be a boy again

And she kissed me

And I saidamen

Thank you, god


And as suddenlyas I felt her kiss

I pushed her away

And she asked me what was wrong


And I looked at my hands

And I looked at my legs

And I touched my skin

And I knew that I was still in

The body of a boy

The body of a man

Who had just killed a boy

And was about to kiss a girl

And was about to make for her

A world without fear


I pushed the fear out of me

And into her

I pushed myself into her

And I felt myself strong

And it felt good for the first time

To be a man

It felt good and I could finally understand

Why it’s so good

To be someone who is the stronger one

The physically stronger one


And a part of me split

And I felt myself break open

Into the body of a girl

And I felt him move into me

Becoming me

And I gave myselfover

To all of his pain


And I knew I would be

What would finally remain

What was brokenand heartless

What was simple and pure

And I knew right then

I would choose


I would choose

To be a girl


And I was a baby

In my mother’s arms

And she kissed me and loved me

And kept me from harm

And my father had eyesso green

Like the grass

And I loved him


And I forgave him


I forgive you

For being weak

And for being strong

And I forgive you

For being beautiful

And I forgive you

For being a boy


And I forgive myself

For being broken

And ashamed


By Julie Flanders

Photo by Louis Blythe



About octoberprojectmusic

Julie Flanders Marina Belica Emil Adler
This entry was posted in October Project, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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