The thought terrifies me.
So I've been working it out through pieces like this one, which will be ever-evolving...
Instead I arrive wearing long brown cloak they believe has been designed for the sole purpose of attracting attention. I know it as my skin. They use it as the basis for their next expectations of me. Of where I’m from. Of what I’ll say. Of who I’m with.
At the first mention of queer, they understand me as a lesbian poet, even though I am not one.
If I mention first, instead, the touch of a man, they understand me as a straight poet, even though I am not one.
Anything in between, and they think they get me now – get that I’m just setting out to break the mold, for surely I can be myself without being so defiant. Surely I can pour my story into them without stirring the crowd.
Surely they understand me. As long as I tell my story like I’m a mama at bedtime, covering with band-aids the cracks that may send their souls falling the eternal distance from the world they believed to be true.
Of course I am who they want me to be.
Their fears would blow gusts of nightmares through their daydreams if I dared to be anything else.