Self Injection

Sometimes when injecting testosterone into my body

I recollect my grandmother face

The gardenia blossoms of her cheekbones waft through my memories

Rue dripping from her voice as she tells me that my breasts are beautiful

That my hourglass frame was forged by gods and who am I to shatter it

Who am I to stand in a shrine and feel revulsion

Feel that there are no gods left for me in my own body

Sometimes when injecting testosterone

I feel guilty

For having been given something by god and having it not be enough

Sometimes I wonder how I have the audacity to build my own altar

To face deity within myself and know

that he deserves more than just afterlife in his own body

I deserve more than just an afterlife in my own body

And I will build it

One injection at a time

Wash your hands

      Disinfect bottle and point of entry

Unpack syringe and injection needle

Draw testosterone to third notch on syringe


Draw only to second notch. Remove needle from bottle.

Pull  plunger down to the third notch, to get extra testosterone)

Switch out the drawing needle for injection needle

(Twist, don’t pull)

Grab the disinfected part of your stomach

(Always choose the squishiest part)

Inject the testosterone

(the magic, the healing, the beginning)

Hold tissue over the injection site

(Close your eyes, wonder if this counts as prayer)

Dispose of syringe and needle

(Thank them)



Osimiri Sprowal is a Black, Disabled, Transqueer boi from Philly. He was the Grand Slam Champion of the Philly Youth Poetry Movement in 2015, and is a member of the BABEL Poetry Collective at Temple University.