I realized I liked girls in the middle of 8th grade volleyball practice. My coach’s fingers slipped against mine when I handed her a ball and I was captivated. It was sudden but I was certain. So after years of dreaming about my wedding dress and what type of suit my husband would wear it turned out I liked girls, too. I spent half of practice berating myself for being weird, being disgusting, not being normal, even though I knew it was okay. I knew nobody important would love me any less. But those first few minutes, I was too scared to let it be all right.
In high school I went on a date with a girl without realizing that’s what it was. We held hands and kissed in the park but I was 14 and my life was so heteronormative I thought we were just friends.
In college I learned to get drunk and let nights end with sloppy girl kisses even when my boyfriend was in the room. Too drunk one night and so I stuck my hand down her shirt. When she took it off I marked her everywhere because I knew she’d want to forget it in the morning.
Still in college and friends with so many variations of sexuality I don’t notice anymore. I knew you liked girls and I did, too but I forgot that people only give free **** to someone they want to ****. I was 20 years old and confidently bisexual and my life was still so heteronormative I didn’t realize you were chasing me. I turned 21 and held your hand under the blankets and everything clicked. We became motion It was like putting on glasses and realizing everything I hadn’t noticed I was missing. You were movement and we went fast because no one wants to find the brake pedal when the windows are down and the sun is out. You curved diagonally across my bed and asked who wanted to be straight. We laughed and kissed and you taught me how to touch you.
It was the best lesson ever.
I’d like a Ph. D. in how to make you loud I put more effort into you than into any class I’ve ever taken. You make me want to tattoo poetry across my ribcage. You liked to leave hickeys on my shoulders and I liked to let you. The world was suddenly like fireworks. Loud and beautiful and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the sparks lighting up your skin.
But it turned out to be a solar flare. We burned bright and hard and fast When we ignited I swear I could see to the ends of the earth but the light died too quickly and you gave up before our vision adjusted You left me grasping in the dark. I’ve lost my glasses and everyone is blurry and it’d be okay except I know what I’m missing now. We were motion but now I feel stagnant.