How-to explain that you’re a queer woman in a hetero-normative marriage

You’re at your restaurant, waiting to wait,
and you make a comment to a co-worker-friend
about a customer’s particularly nice ass.
This ass being worn by a woman, your manager overhears,
and seems both confused and intrigued.
He’s not surprised by the appropriateness of your comment,
but rather, the content. “Wait, what?” he stutters.
Yes, I’m a bisexual woman married to a man,
but I prefer the term queer.
This is just to say, in a polite PSA:
attraction and commitment are not mutually exclusive.

Yet sometimes when talking about certain ex-loves,
you leave out gender-pronouns
because you don’t feel like
explaining yourself.
Sometimes, you give them explicit intention
Because you do want to explain
yourself.

Go back to the basics, when you learn that identity
is complex & elastic, & sexy for you
finds shape in fluidity.
You find women handsome and men beautiful
and all the in-between’s as equals.
And you know that if it’s love,
the parts and pieces don’t matter
when you find the one that fits.
And when you meet your soulmate
on the backside of an identity crisis
that never quite ended, know
that this will become the climax
of the alpha & omega of a we
that you couldn’t even imagine.

You cut your hair short for the first time
when you fell in love with a woman, but after
she’d broken your heart. After
she talked of baby-dykes and life not being like a Miyazaki movie
so why should we try. You grow it out
but after you’ve found the piece that fits
in the puzzle of your heart/mind/body/soul.
For the after that would not have been
without the broken heart,
you grow it out for the wedding, letting it grow
through all the stages of awkward, loving
every part, from mullet to bob.
You let it grow because you want options.

And you plan to chop it off again. Even though your mother
wishes you wouldn’t, as she confides that, “I always knew
you’d end up with a man.” You cut it
because you want to, because you feel free and easy
and most importantly yourself with it short.
And when you tell your partner
you have to make a stop in your hometown
on the drive back to Brooklyn from North Carolina to do just that,
he’s excited for you.
He says he fell in love with you this way.
And the more dapper and free you feel,
the sexier he finds you.

He & she, husband & wife,
partners in love and equals in life,
pay no mention to pronouns
as poignant proxies for you
& me, and the magic we make
as a we.

Cuffing Season

I love the cold for the way
a cup of coffee
warms up your soul.
For the way you keep moving 
your body
because its motion is more powerful 
than that cup.

I love the cold for the way we want
other bodies, for the way skin
clinging to skin
is our favorite kind of warmth.
the way this need
for warmth is code
for that dirty word: intimacy.

For sexy, sweaty summer
and its liberating lack of layers,
can't compare
to the subtlety
of sweaters.

Spring done sprung!!!

Today isn’t quite the sunny spring Saturday that I hoped it would be, but I can’t quite call it grey. The sun hides behind the sky, turning its grey into a luminous white. I’m content today to sit at my desk with the spring floating in through my half-open window, grateful that I’m not one of those for whom the outdoors becomes a war zone of misery. The flowers that litter the ground, and the pollen that cakes every car are for me welcome signs of spring. My soul is undressed as is my body in the leaving of wintry layers and I crave adventure like my skin craves the sun.

I did it. I survived my first New York winter. And it really wasn’t all too bad. I kind of even enjoy having a real winter season, without the “snow” {freezing rain, sleet, hail} that we get down south. The magic of spring is all the more magical after the memory of its existence has been buried beneath cumbersome cold-weather layers.

Unencumbered and uncovered, I’m leaving my winter hibernation behind… along with my virtual absence these past two months. I’m saying yes to every question that grants yes as a possible answer. I’m beginning an adventurous romp through all the different playgrounds that are this city, full of gratitude that a day off here is ripe with limitless possibility.

A response to the query that every mid 20’s, semi-adult habitually avoids

He told me, if I was an artist,
you’d be my muse.
I smiled, blushed, and said thank you.
Later he asked me:
“What are you doing here?” I answered: “I like the city,
so I came.”
Then he asked, “What’s your dream? If you could do anything,
what would it be?”
And I confessed, I don’t know.

The question what do you want
still evades me. Because the answer, for me
has no concrete object.
It has lines & shapes, colors and images…
Details, but no whole.
I know
that I like words, and toying with their construction.
I like poetry
because of the way poems inhabit the space of a moment, freeing that moment
from its temporal boundaries.
But I can’t say whether I dream of publishing a novel that rocks people’s worlds,
because my mind can’t yet fathom a space that grand.

I can feel the textures of my future life,
but the thoroughfares of their manifestation elude me.
I believe in meaningful, passionate work, and direction, and I want to seize all of that
but right now
I’m finding meaning in an hourly wage, hospitality job where I know well my role and that my role is a valued, important part of a whole; a whole full of inspiring colors and characters.
I relish my detours and diversions, small moments & random joys
I surrender to the uncertainties and ambiguities –
their sum the most exquisite aggregate.

Windows

Angers, France. 02-16-2014

18950028

Eyes. They say they’re the way to the soul, right? Looking or really seeing – which is it?

Oh wait, it’s that they’re the windows to the soul.

Looking in & looking out. Seeing and being seen. Hence, the fear of eye contact – the fear of connection and its possibilities.

But what if the window is cloudy? What if it’s only translucent?

What if it’s dirty, smudged & grimy so that one can’t properly see.

What if it’s so old that with each passing year, the glass has slid, ever so slowly down the pane – because of its composition and the dictates of gravity.

Improper sight through warped windows stirring this fear of connection. But sometimes, the lack of clarity is beautiful. To put on the rose-colored glasses, to accept the old pane of glass in all its blurriness, allows one to see in a light which can alter all other lights.

Glasses, windows, eyes. Eyes which see through glasses and windows.

Eyes as the opening & closing of sole persons. Sole worlds. Whole, complete, individual worlds wrapped up and containing what we term souls.

Open your eyes to me.

See beyond looking.

See me, see you, see one another.

Let seeing be enough.

Let it be everything.

Nostalgia

Angers, France. 02-05-2014

It’s funny how some things are better after we’ve left them. Many times, it’s only through distance in time and space that we realize how good something was. Does this mean that the goodness lies only in retrospection and not in the present? What does this say about value and about how we value? I wonder if there’s a way to consciously feel introspective nostalgia, in a present time; a way of looking outside of a moment to really appreciate that moment.

It’s odd…and makes me feel like we’re all slaves to time. But perhaps the greatness of places, moments, people, and events is too great to be truly & completely felt and understood in the way that nostalgia yields illumination.

Perhaps it’s too hard to grasp how grand and big parts of life, places of nature & man, are because our worlds are too small. Our own private worlds are so all-consuming that they don’t allow us to feel such splendid grandiosity.

Perhaps it’s a means of perception: a way of looking. Perspective opens up the freedom to experience greatness.

Light or heavy: which would you pick? Such an impossible question. It seems reasonable and completely illogical all at the same time.

American football

Angers, France. 02-04-2014IMG_1536

This past weekend was so good. Saturday ended up being BEAUTIFUL even though it was supposed to rain all day. The city of Angers has a program where you can rent a bike for free if you’re a student. So naturally, when in France, do as the stereotypical french. I went for my first bike ride here with a group of friends to the Parc Balzac. Because it’s apparently the rainy season, the park is flooded in parts. It’s strangely beautiful and it made for quite the adventurous ride. I was kind of nervous since I hadn’t ridden a bike in lots of years, and have no leg strength, but it ended up being great. I loved flying down the street with the wind in my face on such a beautiful, blue-sky, sunny day. The way back was a little rough with the consistent slight up-hill, but I made it.

I felt awesome the day after from the exercise. A few of us went back to the club K9 Saturday night and it ended up being a lot of fun. No surprise 80’s night this time. There’s something so deliciously sacrilegious about being in a club that used to be a church. The vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows make for quite the backdrop.

Sunday, a bunch of the internationals went to the Chateau d’Angers. It was spectacular to the see the city from the heights of the castle’s turrets.

Last night was the Super Bowl. I wasn’t too excited about going but decided to go along anyways… and I’m so glad that I did. It was hilarious to see all these French guys so pumped about American football! Turns out most of the guys were on the Angers American football team. At 2am, it got kinda weird. Because bars aren’t really supposed to be open on Sundays, it was technically illegal for them be open past 2. Bartender Sinead allowed us to stay, but we had to be real quiet. No yelling or cheering or anything. Quite the bizarre Super Bowl experience but definitely one that I won’t soon forget

Today was complete shit. Since we got back to the residences at 4am, I only got a few hours sleep before my 10am class, then ended up sleeping the rest of the day. I hate not being productive. I hate losing days here when I know my time is limited. I guess I’ve just got to accept a day wasted and be more proactive about making the most out of my days.

New week, new things, new days. And going to Bordeaux this weekend! Very excited to go on my first adventure outside of Angers. It’s funny…I’m very much a creature of habit and I like the comfort of routine, but sometimes, I feel like it can be too comfortable, making me complacent or lazy. I want to try to see each day as an opportunity for something new, as a chance to do something different, to learn something different – to grow.

Things are slowly coming together for traveling plans. Looks like for the winter break at the beginning of March, we’ll go to Paris and Amsterdam. For the longer break beginning of May, traveling along the South of France. The extent of my travel goals before arriving in France consisted of seeing as much of France as I could, since this is where I’m living, and to go to Greece. And it’s looking like Greece may actually happen at the start of the summer!!!!!

Good things. Good things indeed 🙂