Three Signs You Started Out as a Girl [Maria Theresa Maggi]

In the first weeks of life, a fetus has
no anatomic or hormonal sex, only a karyotype,
which is sort of kind of like a teeny tiny unpacked
cellular suitcase full of evidence-based transgender power.
Before the unpacking takes place,
the little fetus first has signs of being female,
which makes for the science-based
reality you started out as a girl,
as vulnerable and unusual and splendid
as any other transgender miracle.

The first female entitlement is nipples,
left on you only as decoration, diversity’s
oversight. Secondly, the counterintuitive penis:
its fabled originality is vulnerable to controversy.
Evidence-based data demonstrates
it’s not a unique male entitlement, but instead
a larger version of the clitoris.
In other words, your mountain is her valley.

And thirdly—perhaps the fairy tale charm—
that weird seam running down your scrotum?
it used to be where the fetus of a vagina began,
until the vagina of the fetus got sewn up in skin
by Mother Nature, the first sex change surgeon.

Rejoice in feeling vulnerable; this pliable metamorphosis
is a precious entitlement of every fetus, bestowed on you
by the evidence-based science-based
diversity of life in all its fleeting, color-full transgender
peacock tail feathers-opening star fire.


Maria Theresa Maggi’s poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals. She is the author of two collections of poetry, The Rings Around Saturn, published by The Black Rock Press at the University of Nevada, and a chapbook, If A Sparrow, from Finishing Line Press. She is also a visual artist and created the cover art for both her volumes of poetry. She writes and illustrates the blog Plant-Based Slow Motion Miracle.

Inspiration: “Three Signs You Started Out as a Girl” came from a delightful combination of comments regarding the banned words made by men on Facebook in the form of rhetorical questions about starting out as female and/or transgender, and an internet medical column I found geared to a general readership of men that catalogued these 3 signs.

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