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The Formula for Forgiveness

By Jae Escoto

If I am she 34 times in a day
And I am only he twice
What is the difference between me and her?
How do we add up?

If 34 times in a day
Multiplies by 2
Each time a she
Takes me by the neck
What is the product of my identity?

For every:

Old habits die hard
We’ll get there
It’s going to take everyone some time
That’s not what I meant
It’ll take some getting used to
You have to be a little more understanding
Just be patient with us
It’s hard to remember

For every:

Hey, just a reminder my pronouns are he/him
Hi, can someone chat her to let her know what my pronouns are?
Hello, I would appreciate it if you would use my pronouns
Just a reminder my pronouns are he/him
You didn’t use my pronouns at all today

For every:

I mean he
I’m sorry, I meant he
His pronouns are he/him
You mean he
His, not hers
Remember he
It’s he/him

That has not been said
On my behalf
From my family
And friends

For every:

She – with no follow-up
With no correction
With no apology
Just she
Just this bomb
Just the salt into the wound I’ve learned how to disguise
Into a chuckle
Into a smile
I forgive you
Once again

I forgive you all
Once again

I will solve this problem for you all
Once again

Don’t worry about the math
Once again

I will solve this on my own

Once again.




Listen as Jae Escoto reads "The Formula for Forgiveness." 

Added: Wednesday, May 29, 2019  /  From "The Woman Inside of Me," (Capturing Fire Press). Used with permission.
Jae Escoto

Jae Escoto is a Filipino trans man who has performed spoken word poetry and competed in poetry slam competitions since 2006. Jae holds a Bachelor’s Degree from California State University San Marcos, double-majoring in Literature and Writing and Women’s Studies, and minoring in Philosophy. Jae also holds a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from San Diego State University.

Other poems by this author