When labels were collars around necks
ruffled, feathered, leather, yoke
you were either ‘gay‘ or you weren’t
I was. And I fell for a man.
Boy really. Once. Only time.
Hips smaller than mine, delving into my bones
like cream poured through coffee we burned calcium
our former labels damp at the door.
The value of a woman is in her smell
the rustle of her soul, how gentle and tough
merge together into womanhood
he was none of these
acrid, funny tasting (masculine?) Sinewy arms wrapping around
like a lost bear it didn’t feel ‘right‘ it didn’t feel ‘wrong‘
we were very young, his mind on fire trying to figure out the world
popping little tabs like they could pause time
because God, someone had to.
In Winter’s loose ends, we holed up at his brother’s flat
half-Thai eyes and burnt toast skin, along with the tang of marijuana
it’s hard not to fall for genius’s and sexual beings with magnetism in their lips
we lay in the dark, he emulated a girl and then became a boy
shadows on the wall, male, female, something more
I clung to him through torrent, it didn’t feel ‘wrong‘ it didn’t feel ‘right‘
night stretched out in submission, he loved me being a woman
in ways maybe another woman never has
joined we were, hard to separate, laughter, solace, grief, shards of joy
his body sleek like a girls, hard to accept the difference, I looked away
feeling him move inside me like a word
aching for punctuation.
I felt like a woman, a woman, a woman
contrast, a figure of eight in reflection
kinder than any girl I knew, smarter than any other human
a girl will touch your breasts with knowing, then ask you to find her bra
he brought me gypsy guitar and red wine and sucked until I screamed.
Dancers, we, danced in detail, scratching out labels defining
what this was, who, what?
I didn’t love him, no. Love an underdeveloped muscle
in a closed box, only women and their sharpness can pick
he searched my face, my breasts, my thighs, for signs
of relenting, wanting to bury himself within, become one
stay together, two cusps, why not? Be mine. Marriage
some papered form of devotion. Not ownership, just need.
I wanted to give him a child then, birth it
right there on the futon, beneath moon, hollering; “eat me until
I become glutted on your goodness,” We shook together
a ritual, procession into silvered ore earth’s center
letting go, the child came, bidden, quickening, like opening
your mouth and accepting change, drink me down
between my legs, the writhe of us, male/female/female/male
losing edges, the blurred outline of pretense.
We woke when the light came
to an empty room
nothing left of us to consume
just condom wrapper
unused by the bedside
and life in my belly rounding music
he wore my silver ring
I told him, don’t cut your hair
we walked in opposite directions
he took a bus
I, a train
he never knew I took him too
in my belly, quiet and full.