When I was in kindergarten I told my parents I was going to get married
to a girl. I carried my love
in a place somewhere deep, humped it across the mountain
ups and downs of growing up, blowing
wishes and kisses to the wind of my daydreams,
isn’t that the way dreams
are supposed to follow you, swallow you whole?
Boys and girls, girls and boys, all the baby toys
my parents bought for me were pink. I didn’t think
much of it, just traded with my brother when I wanted another color.
My parents split when I was eight years old,
the photo albums growing mold in a basement after four rounds in court
and phone calls and the sounds of tears I never wanted to hear
and it wasn’t ever over, no sin to atone, only two homes
and two families and me in between, and alone —
and isn’t that what you wanted to hear? About my sorrow
and my fear? About the divide,
the gulf yawning wide, the after and before?
Listen to my laughter. The nomenclature
of the courts is nurture over nature. Cause and effect.
It all leads back to the roots of your family tree, there is no you
Can’t I decide who I want to be? Can’t I live
in the intermediary? Girls are beautiful, boys can be pretty.
I never thought it was difficult to see. But if I like girls, I’m rejecting daddy.
We live in a world of binary.
When they say, “he’s cute, isn’t he?” I bite my tongue, swallow down “so is she.”
Watching all the straight love movies, I
pretend I’m the girl who gets the guy
or a girl who gets the girl, feel myself unfurl into
the silence of a kiss, like there’s something I miss, like I
want to be in love, and I’d want to tell my mom, hear her say,
“Well, I’d love to meet your girlfriend one day.”
But maybe it’s hard to understand, it’s sure hard to say,
but I hate the way it becomes a game of blame,
the fault of the parents, it’s apparent that’s why she’s acting that way,
saying she’s gay, get a reaction, needs attention, distraction,
no one seems to want to ask if I’m proud to be me,
sing it loud, this isn’t an episode of Glee,
“they fuck you up, your mom and dad”
and they don’t want to hear you tell them that you’re not ashamed,
no need for blame, you’re just the same
as you would be if they had fallen in love and stayed.
That you’re in love with love, and even if they’re scared, you’re not afraid.