Monday, June 13, 2016

On being a queer woman in 2016

Being a queer woman in 2016 feels
like mourning.
From where I live, the air smells like violence,
water tastes like misogyny,
homophobia rings the air.

Brock Turner: six months in jail –
a white-washed wrong that presents itself
every time I open my newsfeed like
picking at a wound.
of facts I would rather forget as
my history
intersects with headlines of injustice and everyone
has an opinion about his

A client’s mother says she
doesn’t want those people around her son.
My supervisor tells me the higher-ups are
Republican, urges me to stay
hidden, in case
the newspaper were to find out
some therapists can also be gay.
A client’s father finds him laying
with another boy.
He beats them both with belts
and fists,
my client tells me he is never getting married
and definitely not to a boy.
He is 7
and my heart breaks

Being a lesbian in 2016 means
coming out, slowly, and then
all at once, but not
to my family, it means
seeing the closet with its
splintering, raw edges and
low ceilings it is
too small for the way
I need to move to embrace myself,
it means finally
meeting all of me, it means –

--50 people dead and I
want to call my mother.
An almost instinctual urge that can never be
trained away,
I want to pour this grief like lava:
let it spill
out of me like the blood of solidarity, of
it could have been me, of
rage like
I don’t know how to contain this, so
I want to call my mother. 
Want to tell her I’m safe – this time,
want her to know this fear
anger installing itself
deeper into my bones.
It wears into me like rivers erode their banks;
waves come and carry
away pieces of body, leaving
nothing but my woman-loving
female frame as I
sit on the waiting list
for violence
convincing myself I am worth
more as I live with a heart labeled:

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