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May 2011
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.
Written by
Meryl Wisner
1.3k
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