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.