The Double Life


Agrabah, Arabia
Based on Disney Movie, Aladdin.
United States
39° 55' 6.3372" N, 75° 8' 11.958" W


“I don’t want to be a princess!”


No I don’t want to be one if it means I can’t be with her.


But we all know the cycle of my life, be born, carry the burden of honor defined by the patriarchy, and marry a man that will only provide status. There is no room for love.


It is all arranged.


I snuck out once past the castle walls to see the impoverished, the inequality, the slums. To see how a royal name is just a Hollywood sign and nothing else. To see how husbands talked to their wives, and how women took care of their kids while their husbands did nothing, and how a group of men stared at a woman passing by, and I realize social class means nothing. It is the person.


“You are not lowly like some people in our kingdom.”


But I have sat across princes who act just the same. Who look at me as what I could provide them; power, pleasure, honor, and never of who I am.


I am named after a flower, so they must think after they stomp on me I will be their submissive princess. But, they don’t know my roots are full of all my ancestors who prevailed against misogyny and abuse, whether that meant enjoying time alone, voicing their opposition, or simply venting to their friends who lived in a society where trauma survivors are highly stigmatized.


Men can get away with anything if they blame their actions against women.


Sometimes I joke about how lucky I am to love girls. It is dark humor.


One day I will be proud and strong enough to get past my father’s homophobia and kingdom’s honor to be myself.


The entire kingdom will burn, and I will watch it burn as she lays in my arms.


But for now, I will watch the kingdom’s lights in the distance and imagine all the faces of the women that pass by them. I wonder if any of them love girls like me.


This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world


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