my heart flutters at
the way she speaks my name.
"lover", she hums,
and i watch speechless as woebegone
drips from her lips. she
tastes like moonlight
when she kisses me. fragile.
when our bodies meet
i can't imagine living life any
differently than this;
magnetism draws me closer and
i am intoxicated and sobered and
and i let my fingers
trace symphonies over her skin
love songs and love letters
and the lust of
knowing that this is belonging.
we fold into each other
and it is inevitable. i want to
learn her, learn
every part of her, as if
it's what my soul was sent to do;
her heartbeat weaves a
gossamer of beauty and
she leaves it in the crease of my
architect of this home, these
two arms that sing safety
into rose quartz bones.
this is harmony.
i release a held breath and
whisper back, "always".
this is my promise.
I never believed much in a god,
after my dad's death especially.
But then I found her,
and it was like I saw God in her face.
She took me to church,
on Wednesdays, sometimes Sundays.
And we held hands through the service,
so tight, I thought, the angels would have to tear us apart.
I loved her so much,
and I started to believe again.
Then her pastor started to shout,
words of negativity about our kind of love.
My heart fell,
for I could not believe a loving god would hate us just for that.
I slowly drifted further from believing,
and found something new.
But I still went to church,
and sat through the fire and brimstone services.
Then one Sunday, as I got up to leave,
she chased me into the bathroom.
And what happened there,
led me to never again go to church, as a believer.
This is the story of how I never told you I loved you.
When we first met, I could only stare at you.
In my eyes, you were a tall, graceful queen
And I felt unworthy of your presence
But when you spoke, your words,
Sweet like honey, trickled out.
Your small voice made you seem less of a nobility
And more of a normal girl
But you still seized all of my attention.
I couldn’t articulate how much I love you.
I couldn’t put my feelings into sentences
I couldn’t seem to find the right combination of letters
To encapsulate how important you are to me.
I told too many jokes
But I never told you how I felt.
You always listened and laughed at them
But you never felt
How I intended to make you feel.
I wanted to exude love
But, instead, I emanated comedy.
I wanted to rule beside you
But I was just your jester;
Hiding behind my wit
Because that way, at least,
I could see your smile.
You're not like the other girls I've loved
Your laugh is like the embodiment of summer
Warm weather and flowers blooming
Two girls with sun kissed skin and strawberry lips, that's us
Please don't ever go away my love
I don't think I could stand it if you did
It drives me insane when people see me holding a girls hand and ask
“So who’s the guy? You know, who wears the pants?”
I want to scream and say WE ARE LESBIANS. Firstly, neither of us are ever wearing any pants. I want to scream and say WE ARE LESBIANS, and i’m angry because lesbian does not always have to mean woman but where did you get man from? I’m angry because maybe sometimes one of us does identify as a guy. A gay boi with an I. A soft boy. A proud hairy legged 5”4 boy. A drinking pints in the pub with my dad and us both liking that same woman’s tattoo boy. A cries every day boy. A feels cool when drinking beer boy. A boy that had to teach themself to like beer boy. A boy who sometimes does not feel like a boy. A boy. A boy. Oh boy. Boys. You see, this question is confusing for me because when I was fourteen, my boyfriend and I would joke that I was the one wearing the pants, even though at that point I was very much still wearing skirts and hiding behind butt-length hair and also watching the L Word in secret when I got home from school but that’s besides the point. This question is obviously as confusing for you as it is for me because in your mind you see two pairs of tits holding hands on the tube and think: Lesbians. Now, which one’s the man? And I think to myself, there are two ways to answer this: Number 1: So I know lesbian is supposed to mean woman on woman, two vaginas, scissoring, strap-ons, veganism, art degrees (and a lot of this is true but let’s not stereotype). So I know that to you, although we appear to be two women, two snap-back wearing, sports-bra bearing- I mean I thought about writing hymen- tearing here but it just doesn’t seem appropriate- women, the funny thing is that erm, you see, gender and sexuality: as different as my dad to my mum’s other ex-husband. We are not a man and a woman. We are two people and what do pants have to do with it? We are two people and why does one of us always have to be a man? We are two people and the awkward part of the point i’m making is that sometimes I don’t feel like a woman but you wouldn’t know that so let me say: we are not a man and a woman. We did not ask for your confrontation, we are not your designated driver, your answer sheet to an exam you haven’t sat yet, your house party when your parents go away, your girlfriend that you think is obliged to suck your dick even though you will not go anywhere near her clit. You are not our three year old son who asks too many inappropriate questions. To you, we are strangers and to answer your question, you seem to think that you’re wearing the pants here. So wear them. By the way, Number 2: fuck off.
"But why don't we have straight pride?"
"I don't mind them really, I'd just rather they didn't shove it down my throat".
"Did you see those lesbians holding hands?"
"Do you have a boyfriend?"
These moments are usually filled with silence. The room is suddenly so quiet, that I can almost hear my fear in the key holes, tucked away inside draws, behind laws, In the space between us.
I sit there and I swallow my pride. I swallow the thoughts of years of coming to terms with who I was and kissing boys to try and feel the way I was supposed to. I swallow walking down streets and staring at strangers, trying to figure out who I found the most attractive. I swallow every time I used to think to myself "It's not real. I'm making it all up. I'm not gay". I swallow the first time I said it out loud. I swallow the first time I was proud. I swallow the way I traced her freckles softly in the sunlight. I swallow the fights with my father and the tears behind closed doors. I swallow the stares in public and the glares and hushed whispers that stayed with me for days. I swallow every time someone would say "but you don't look gay". I swallow being told I can't take a joke. I swallow teachers talking about "homosexuals" as if there were none sitting in the room before them. I swallow being myself. I swallow the very essence of who I am. I swallow loving who I am. I swallow reclaiming the word lesbian, the word that used to sound like a slur. Like a dirty piece of language that only lived in porn videos and his wastepaper bin. I swallow falling in love with women. I swallow each time I stared at my body, and didn't recognise myself. I swallow all the shame in the world. I swallow my pride.
But then fifty voices are swallowed. One hundred loving hands. Two thousand threckles. 20 different countries. 1 million breaths. Fifty hearts whose beats echoed in pride.
And suddenly, I stop swallowing, and start living. For they can take our lives, but they will not take our pride.
No, you cannot join in.
Unless of course you also want the backlash that comes with kissing girls in public?
share the homophobia.
I have had enough to last me 18 years of shame
no, this is not a game and you do not have the right to take photographs of me while I kiss her.
Unless of course you are a photographer
here to celebrate our queer love in all of it’s natural beauty.
For my love does not exist for your enjoyment
we are not the characters in your fantasy novel
my love is magical and you cannot publish it.
My love rains all over your non existent parade because your homophobia does not exist at pride
encircle us as if to say that our mouths brush only so that they
can paint the picture,
but you do not belong within my self portrait
you will not dip your dirty brush into my rainbow coloured paint set.
Clean your homophobia into the water
for our love is art
but you are not the artist
and my love is not yours to keep for later
for wanking your anxieties into pleasure whilst you turn my pleasure, into anxiety.
This, is plagiarism.
Copyright my love.
For I should not have to be aware of who is watching
or pointing or shouting or stealing, my love.
So put your hand down your pants and think of your homophobia.
No, you can’t come now
no, you cannot join in.
There are coffee stains on my notebook.
soft brown plots colonize the corners,
Smearing the ink into almost unreadable scratches.
I love my daily coffee so much that I let it ruin my note book.
And like my morning coffee you have become a staple in my life.
A part of my routine,
Coffee, class, and then you.
And I do not write love poems.
The words never fit into my mouth right,
talking about love always felt like tossing marbles in my mouth,
blurry and unbalanced.
They never came out how I wanted.
But for you I'm willing to try,
I will fight my own tongue until I can tell you what I mean.
Until I can say that I haven't gone a day without coffee since the sixth grade,
and that the idea of going a day without you makes me sick.
Until you know that I will hold your hand like the handle of my favorite mug,
that I'll love any chip or crack you have.
And if you ever feel bitter,
Please know that I will be right here,
because I take my coffee black
And I'm not scared of being burned
But like my morning coffee you’ve started to leave stains on my sleeves,
my hands are tinted from all the times I’ve held yours,
and when I look down and see the small blotches,
Because I think of you.
Okay kid here's the deal, you'll come into this world and everyone will tell you how to feel.
Fast forward, fifth grade, you're in the bathroom stall. The first time you knew the word gay, it was written as a slur on a dirty cement wall.
When your brother came out it shouldn't been a surprise, but even
you became accustomed to the fear behind his eyes.
Using art as an outlet, you set your electricity free, bleeding words onto paper, grasping for being who you wanted to be.
Drunk on idealism and Tumblr walls, discovering yourself, refusing to fall.
Into the same routine and monotony like the rest, you took your pain to the stage, ripped your heart open and confessed.
Screaming I AM WHO I AM, with your arms open wide, who knew one day you'd finally refuse to hide?
On independent people
Especially when they’re women—
Especially when they’re you.
You, with your
High-pitched laugh and your
Dark hair up and your
Pride loud but your
Voice louder and
I am dependent
And most days I repent it
To have my body and
have your head and—
And that’s, you say,
What you like in me.
That’s the takeaway:
Not the late nights spent
Holding you or the
Times I went
To comfort you
Or the energy used
To convince you
Enough, I said
On the floor
I told myself
I couldn’t do this
Am a person
Not a therapist
A construction worker
And us but
Even I can’t fix a
Although sometimes I’d like to—
Especially when you look at me the way you do and
Lift my skirt and break the rules
And scream louder than
You ghost-like figure
Presence-less, you sometimes-mess
And yet I insist to
but you’re the one who will haunt me
through and through,
You and your fucked-up ways
There is not space for me
But then I remember
The way you defy
and every time
that you are afraid
For your life
But let me tell you
So am I
Afraid for my heart when we’re apart
But lately also
When we are together.
See, I knew this wasn’t forever
But I thought the end was yet to come,
Or I guess maybe it was
Right at the start—
The first time you kissed me
And the first time I missed you
When you didn’t miss me,
And now you have me here
In this space
A basket case—
I wasn’t here
I wasn’t queer
That maybe if I found a man
I could spare myself this
Late-night pain and
I will find a husband and
A house to stay in with
a white-picket fence and
that I am numb so that
I won’t feel happiness
but I won’t feel loss
I won’t feel like this
So here I am and
Although it’s different this time around
I am still bound
by my roots
And my wounds and my soul.
This may make me dependent but at least
When I said I loved you I meant it—
Yes, I am in love with you,
From the start, everyone knew
And they told me to
And run I did
Right toward you
You, my gone-too-soon,
And I am