I am more than my shoes,
Even the black boots I wear
Day in day out to work
rubbed smooth on the soles.
I am more than the cheap-end shirts
That hide my tits and that you
Frown at, openly, at the shop, the park,
On the bus after a long day.
I am more than the number zero
That you can see, and the underwear
That you can’t, although that
Doesn’t stop you asking.
I am tough or tender, depending
On who we are and what you mean to say.
I am hard in places you have no need of,
And soft in those you don’t think I know.
I am butch, and I have blended every
Ill word, and unkind glance into the step
Of my walk and the spread of my legs,
And the pride I put into loving my girl.
I am butch; I wear it on my sleeves,
And my calloused hands. The word is sewn
Into the hem every pair of jeans I own,
As it is on the inside of my thick skin.



Abbi Parcell is a Welsh queer, butch, autistic, writer and poet based in Manchester.  More here: https://truthful-booklet-8c0.notion.site/ABOUT-ME-261c2d1337894271ae0ac006bf25e6e2