look me in the eyes and tell me what you think perfect is not


United States

you ask me what perfect is and i tell you that perfect is a lie.


there is nothing perfect in this world.

every line you have been fed,

every image you have been shown,

every unforgiving prejudice that you have been taught and will hold until the day you die

even if you work tirelessly against it

is imperfect.

it is bullshit.


perfect is an ideal and i will tell you what my ideal is:

it is when i can walk down the street and feel safe that my clothes will not be torn off

by violent hands or violent eyes,

when i can be assured that no one will see me and say

this is a woman

this is a girl

this is a man

this is a boy

because i am none of those things.

i am rage at your ignorance

and i am rage at your world that tells you i must be one or the other

that there is nothing more in between


perfect is when i feel safe, feel acknowledged

in a community that is meant for me

without cis het motherfuckers who think they are the crown jewel

to say that they are the A for ally

to apply for our scholarships

to speak on our behalf


perfect is when i never fall in the love you see on tv

because monosexuality is boring

heterosexuality is boring

alloromantic romance is boring


perfect is when i can ask for a platonic kiss from the person i love

with no romance in my heart

and people will not flood from the woodwork to ask

but what next, honey?

platonic sex?

maybe, you fucking asshole,

if you thought that anything i felt was real.


but you think i am not perfect and so i am a monster

and so is every other queer teenager crying in the dark

every girl who does, frankly, anything at all

every transgender black woman who lives in fear every day

because she cannot be expected to live past 25



who is not you

is imperfect


and i am here to tell you that you are fucking wrong


the flaws you see in me are not flaws at all

and if i seem strange or conceited

wrong or ill

then i will tell you i take 100mg of lamotrigine every night at 10pm

and when i hear planes fly overhead i must move across the room

because staying stationary spells my death

and that does not make anything i say any less important

because these are not flaws

these things are who i am

and you so, so wrong

to think otherwise.


i am here to tell you that you have been misled

that what you hate is something beautiful you will never know

that the word perfect is a disease

and you cannot tell me

that there is a single flaw in my character

because i know otherwise.


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741