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Poetry

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland

Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a Hellenist transgender autistic gay man from Seattle with Borderline Personality Disorder. He currently attends the Evergreen State College and works for Headline Poetry & Press. Since 2019, he’s been accepted for numerous magazines such as Antioch University LA’s Lunch Ticket Magazine, UC Santa Barbara’s Spectrum Literary Journal, UC Riverside’s Santa Ana River Review, University of Texas at San Antonio’s Sagebrush Review, University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Straylight Magazine, University of Wyoming’s Owen Wister Review, and The New School’s The Inquisitive Eater. He’s @Romangodmercury on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

When Cis People Apologize

when cis people apologize
they say i’m sorry if i offended you
or
sorry you got offended

but never
oh, sorry
i’ll actually change my behavior

when cis people apologize
they say why are you so angry
why can’t you just calm down

but never
you have spoken to me in the calmest way and i respect that
or
i have constantly given you reason to be angry
yet i have turned around and gotten upset with you
for reacting appropriately to my actions
i apologize for this

when cis people apologize
they say sorry i misgendered you

but always mutter under their breath
i don’t understand why you care though

when cis people apologize
they say i didn’t know tranny was a slur

but never
sorry, i won’t say that word

when cis people apologize
they say you have traumatized me by existing

but never
i can only imagine how traumatizing living under transphobia must be

when cis people apologize
they say i’m old

but never
i have spent my entire life living through all these historical civil rights revolutions and chose to
learn absolutely nothing from it

when cis people apologize
they say i’m young

but never
i guess i will educate myself

when cis people apologize
they say but i am one of the good ones

but never
i will keep myself accountable for all the transphobia i have learned in a transphobic society

when cis people apologize
they say you have an interesting perspective

but never
i will actually listen to what you are saying

when cis people apologize
they say i will say everything that sounds like an apology but isn’t

but never
i’m sorry

when cis people apologize
they say i’m sorry if i offended you
or
sorry you got offended

but never oh, sorry
i’ll actually change my behavior.

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