view of San Francisco from pier, with seagull spreading its wings on iron fence railing

Commonly Held Beliefs About Lesbians and Other Commonly Held Beliefs

Sure, she wears men’s trousers, but that’s not all she does

You make me want to say that while doing dangerous performance art
Decrying the existence of men
You make me want to wear carabiners and get a social work license
You make me want to look at my large wristwatch and say
“It’s almost time for Karen’s feminist book club.”
You make me want to go to the farmer’s market every Sunday
And post photos of our root vegetables to various social media
You make me want to wear plaid flannels
And drink beers while considering concepts like radical collectivism
But you also make me want to move the fuck on
And stop worrying about queerdom altogether
Because it is pointless
And bad for everyone involved for me to study lesbianism in this way
When I can just get up and have sex with my girlfriend:
It’s true; being with you is validation enough.


You make me live in another dimension

Where three-dimensional queerness
Becomes four-dimensional happiness
For everyone
Where there is a quilt for us
Sewn out of complex philosophies like eternal love,
The meaning of life… and mohair
Where we can kiss in public
And it doesn’t mean a thing
Where there are pocket universes
Filled with more life than we ever could have imagined:
Trees so tall they fill the skies,
Sex like floating on air,
A million versions of me all existing at once.
You make me live in another dimension
Where this dimension is finally good enough.


To be able to tell you how I feel

I must understand everything that is in me
I must break down what my bread is made of
And eat each ingredient separately
First the flour
Then the salt
Then the yeast…

I must drink a swimming pool of my own tears
Just to prove that I am self-sufficient
And highly resourceful

I must examine each of my organs
And organize them into a Dewey Decimal System,
With my heart as 200 – Religion
My intestines as 900 – History & Geography
My tongue as 700 – Arts & Recreation

I must take away all of my senses
And transfer them to different planes of existence
So I can live as a body in a vacuum for a while

I must follow a point of light into the ocean
All the way to its end
And hope it’s you there in the velvet folds of seaweed
You, with your shining amulet
Your sea foam bag filled with our past emotional baggage
Your ghost-like call calling me back to myself

I must light my skin on fire and rise out of the ash….
Into your arms

I must stare at the sun and go temporarily blind.
Eventually, I will see your face appearing
Behind the darkness and the light spots.
It is amazing.
Every time that happens I can see again.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This poem was selected from entries submitted to our Creative Challenge Series #37: First Sentences, which required that the first sentence in the text must be used as given.