queer love

Hug

If I fall in love
If he be white
Let him understand
The rarity of a black
Diamond and pearl
Disguised as me 

 If I fall in love
If he be from the middle east
Let him see the sun rise
By the corner of my smile
And know the darkness of night
In my right eye is even more beautiful 

 If I fall in love
If he be Asian
Let him find
The time to be proud is
When he catches me looking at him
When he wasn’t even paying attention 

If I fall in love
If he be Black
Let him know
I am a reflection of things he deserves and
All that he wished for when no one would listen

If I fall in love
If…whoever he be
Let him know
My magic to write poetry
Is my prayer to stop the wars
While protecting the children. 

If I fall in love
Let it be with me 

Cloudy Today: A Vignette

October 1987

I wake up to a loud, panicked knock on my door. I quickly pull on a pair of sweatpants, and opened the door. There is Maggie, tearing up.

“Anna, you’re the only person… I don’t know what to do… Fuck, Anna, I need to talk to someone or I might do something I regret.”

“It’s 2 in the morning.”

Maggie ignores this. “Let’s go somewhere private. The bathroom. C’mon.” She tugs on my arm, and I acquiesce, following her down the dimly lit dormitory corridor.

We sit facing each other in the showers. Her face is red, eyes stained with tears, mascara running. She still looks perfect, and I lean forward, ready with a tissue, and dab at her eyes.

“It’s okay. Tell me what happened.”

Maggie looks up at me with her giant hazel eyes, and a shudder runs down my spine. She gulps.

“I loved that asshole. I fucking loved him. Fuck, I thought I did. Why the fuck do I let people love me?” The tears start again in earnest, and she buries her head in her hands, her whole body racked with sobs.

“What happened?” I ask.

“Fucking guess, Anna,” she snaps. “He goes off for a semester abroad, and insists we can make it work, that long distance isn’t the end, and then I have to hear from his brother that he’s screwing some tramp, some Eastern European slut who can probably bend her legs backwards over her head, and I’m here twiddling my goddamned thumbs, waiting like some pathetic little housewife for him to come back…” she trails off, then looks down guiltily at the floor. Her head turns back up to me. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to explode like that. I found out, like, an hour ago and you were the only person I thought of to tell. Fuck, I know it’s early, I must have paced outside your door for like, twenty minutes, Anna, I did, but I needed to see you, I needed to get this shit out of me, I would have fucking exploded.”

After a few minutes, she pulls away, rooting around in her bag. She removes a cigarette, lights it, closes her eyes, and the smoke curls out of her nostrils. She does everything with such grace even when she’s falling apart. I fall out of my hypnosis and grab the cig from her, stubbing it out on the damp ground.

“What the fuck you do that for?”

“God damn it, you fucking idiot, you can’t smoke in here. You’ll set the alarms off, wake up the whole damn building.”

“Pfft. Like that fucking matters. Like anything fucking matters.”

“Christ, you dummy, yeah, shit matters! I matter! You matter!”

“Fuck it, Anna, of course you matter. I just need a damn cigarette.”

I try to change the subject before she gets herself expelled. “You’ll find someone who deserves you. I told you from the beginning that he didn’t.”

“So what? It’s my fault?”

“Shut up. You know exactly what I’m saying. He was wrong, but he’s not the only one out there.”

“Ehh… I know, but, Anna, I can’t just wait for the right person. What’s the point of a bright future if today is so fucking cloudy?”

I don’t know what to say, so I don’t say anything. I want to dry her tears. I want to put her soft lips against mine. I want to hold her tight and never let her go. A selfish thought crosses my mind: I want her to love me. I want her to know that I am that person, the one who could be right for her, to make her happy, to love her unconditionally.

It’s fucking pathetic. I always said I wouldn’t be the one lusting after the straight girls. And here I am, taking a moment that’s about Maggie, and making it about me.

This is when Maggie leans in and presses her lips against mine. They’re rougher than I imagined them to be. I can’t kiss her back, because before I can even think she’s pulled away again, her expression quickly contorting into a frown.

“What the fuck was that, Anna? I thought we were friends!”

“Mag, you kissed me-”

“Shut up, you dyke! Get away from me!”

She gets up and walks away and it’s like I’ve been punched in the throat because each breath is jagged and I can’t say a single fucking word or do anything useful but smell her lingering scent and hear that heavy bathroom door slam.

A Fighter

1

You emerged from your mother

Into a cold & strange world.

You were born on an early morning

Like the dawn of a new day,

Lighting up the sky with your restlessness.

A fighter, they called you.

 

Panic & fatigue

Covered the room like frost

Until you met your mother’s chest,

For the first time;

And the room melted like a spring morning.

Ocean

Her heaving sighs,

the morning rise,

my toes resting

slide onto bare wood.

 

I step into hot sand.

Enveloped, developed, tough grit

exfoliates a broken wing.

 

She tells me to breathe,

I tell her to leave.

The heavy ocean rises and falls,

screaming seagulls make their calls,

I wait behind for news of you.

We solved it together

Quests are usually embarked upon to complete a goal. But goals, once accomplished, are fleeting. The Magician’s understands that quests, like life, are not really about the finish line, but the journey itself.

 

Image result for the magicians fan art

The Magician’s fan art by Aquiles Souir

I found Lev Grossman’s first book, The Magicians, (of what would become The Magicians Trilogy) in 2012 on a recommendation shelf at my local book store. Six years out of high school, it had been a long time since I’d actually read a novel, and many more years since I’d read something that reached into the corners of my soul so profoundly. 

The Magicians begins with Quentin Coldwater, a highly intelligent, deeply depressed, fantasy genre fanboy, who discovers that magic is real when he is vetted to study at a prestigious magician’s college called Brakebills. 

swidler15 on Youtube

In the trailer for the first book, critics were likening The Magicians to an adult Harry Potter. On the surface, this makes sense. Instead of following a bunch of magic kids on their journey through adolescence, we follow a bunch of magic kids on their journey through young adulthood. But once actually inside the book, it becomes clear that Grossman pulls from some much older roots of fantasy adventure literature, most notably, C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. 

Quentin, before beginning his hero’s journey, is a life-long fan of the children’s fantasy series Fillory and Further, Grossman’s loving homage to The Chronicles of Narnia, complete with English siblings finding a magic world through mysterious furniture, meeting talking animals, completing quests, and assuming royal positions in the land of Fillory, before inevitably returning to their normal lives once they have outgrown childhood. 

Of all the moving parts that drew me into The Magicians— Grossman’s intoxicating blend of ten-dollar-words and young adult vernacular (F-bombs!), the way he details the mechanics of magic itself (lots of sexy math and physics), characters who are beautifully constructed (flawed, strong, and multidimensional), and the particular flavor of disillusionment he captures when the idealism of youth is torn by the monsters of the world— the thing that resonated with me the most was how exquisitely he draws Quentin’s deep love of The Fillory Books.

As a life-long, rabid fangirl myself (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer), I’ve never seen a fictional character whose fanatical attachment to their beloved text matched my own. Meeting Quentin felt like meeting myself.

In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf describes the sensation of reading a novel that reflects the truth of yourself: “But this is what I have always felt and known and desired! And one boils over with excitement, and, shutting the book even with a kind of reverence as if it were something very precious, a stand-by to return to as long as one lives, one puts it back on the shelf.” I put The Magicians back on my shelf, and waited, hungrily, for more. 

Love to Mind

*To the lovers that never were because our bodies told them to stay away…*

Ohhhh, Baby! Let me make Love to your mind!

Mindful thoughts swaying in the air with nowhere to go but in the warmth of my bosom
If only we knew how to make love blossom
into our smiles, our thoughts, and words.

Because loving with our bodies seems to be the only language we know
And being physical is nice and all but it’s like that’s the only way we know how to express ourselves
And I want to change the language of intimacy
Intently
Because in the depths of my being I know Love is forever and baby I know my body will not be here forever

My soul wants to caress the inner thigh of your mind
Kiss the lips of your sweet soul
Touch the chest of your thoughts and tell you,
Honey, let’s make love
Not with our bodies but with our souls
Pressing against one another, sweating because our passion is too hot and our faces are too warm
smiling, exchanging those words that we never thought we would
Changing our moans for laughter
Looking into the eyes of the other and saying
Oh, baby…
Let me make Love to your soul!

I see you and you see me, and for the first time in My life I know that if we never touch again we would still love
Still look at the other and agree we were one

One soul

Two minds

Bound in each other’s arms forever and always
Acting like always is forever and my forever is always.

The first time I saw your inner self I began to cry
Because our souls were naked and we saw how raw fully beautiful it was to leave the imprints of each other’s being on our hearts

When our final days come and I see your soul for the last time I will weep.
Because I know I will be leaving behind a mine of gold where I once was covered in dirt by the smog of your powerful beauty
And I think it’s okay to call you beautiful because to me that’s all I see
Even when the scars on your body may say otherwise
And the harshness of your skin may tell people to stay away
Anyways…

…This is all I soulfully see

[Pause]

I am with you and you are with me in bed together naked in our mind’s eye telling our life’s secrets
As if making love was easy and without complication
But let me tell you,
It’s complicated and it is not easy

My love for you is messy and harsh
Judging what my soul shares with yours because my body has been struck by others
By you
Beaten Down, Beaten Down

that my Self-finds it hard to say ‘yes’ to the making of Our love 

To make love to your soul is a task
One that needs work and practice
Your soul against mine is all I ask for
But in moments where I can actually see you for you, I wonder if you were ever really naked to begin with…

…I cry when I see your inner being inside mine

Love to Mind

I’m forever asking you to make love to my soul
Forever, as in My Always.