dear heart

dear heart of mine,

why can’t you decide

who you do and do not like

 

why did it take you so long

to realize

that there is more to this world

than boys who would do no more than break you

 

with their crooked half-smiles

and their scared dark eyes that never quite meet yours

and their hands that are never, ever reaching for you

 

why is it now

that you see

the softness

and the beauty

in each girl passing by

 

“i look at her

a sparkling flute of champagne

with her bright eyes

and her golden lion’s mane

 

i look at her

and she is liquid mercury

chestnut hair

and a silver smile”

 

i feel like i am lagging behind

because everyone around me

knew who they were

years ago

 

they wore their titles like crowns

each confession a declaration

of pride

 

their eyes held a challenge

that we didn’t understand

 

“i dare you to doubt me

to try and tell me

who i can and cannot be

who i can and cannot love”

 

i think we knew

all along

this long, long road

 

the exit signs

tried to tell us so

but we put our blinders on

and kept driving

 

in the beginning, though

it started with a song

 

because you, my heart

no matter who you choose

will always belong, at least in part

to music

 

“when i was in the third grade,

i thought that i was gay

‘cause i could draw,

my uncle was

and i kept my room straight”

 

when i was in the third grade

i heard the word for the first time

 

“gay”

 

i was in music class

and two boys were whispering on the risers

 

they said like it was a bad word

but i’d never heard my father scream it at my mother

so how bad could it be

 

our teacher told us that for all intents and purposes,

it meant happy

 

another clueless kid piped in and set us straight,

said that it was what men who loved other men were called

 

and in all of my childlike innocence,

i thought: “well, shouldn’t men love other men?”

 

we’d just started learning about martin luther king

about humanity and brotherhood

and in that very classroom, we had learned about harmony

 

i don’t think i understood what i heard

until that song

came on the radio and changed the world

 

my mom would change the station (instead)

every time those soulful chords started to strain to be heard

when their love finally sought to be seen by a shifting planet

 

and whenever i asked her why

she neglected to reply

turned away from my curious eyes

told me that she “needed to drive”

 

i felt like i was doing something wrong

breaking some unspoken, previously unbroken rule

when i bought it for myself

not one to be denied

 

but you, heart

you knew

you took my shaking hands

and made them press play

 

you led my puzzled fingers

in their search for the words

in their quest for truth

 

and i listened to it everyday

 

for months

i could not shake

what i had heard from my mind

every word

became a promise

for a later time

 

i went to church near every sunday back then

i had been baptized, born again

at least in his eyes

 

but there was something more profound

something that struck me to my core

when i heard those opening chords

something inside that blossomed and grew

when she sang

“and i can’t change

even if i tried,

even if i wanted to”

 

i tried to bury the garden

that burst forth inside of me, eager to bloom

i tried to silence the voice that cried

“no, no

not quite

you’re not quite finished yet”

 

because i wasn’t ready

and neither were you

 

and then came seventh grade

and everyone knew

 

they had found themselves

in words i had never even heard

found meaning and reasoning and a chance for love

in mere letters alone

 

i saw them as labels

restrictive and divisive

and the opposite of what love should be:

free

 

looking back now,

i think was confused

blue with jealousy

rather than green with envy

 

because they were freeing themselves

they were free to be themselves

 

when i was still figuring it all out

 

because i’d just gotten a boyfriend (my first)

and how come that wasn’t good enough anymore

 

the idea of anyone else loving me

was too big

for my small pride

 

i didn’t even love myself

how could i love more

any more than him

 

it wasn’t good enough for them

and it wasn’t good for me

 

i crumpled further

and you, heart

you receded even further in

 

my ribcage served as the walls

in your self-inflicted confinement

you hid behind my lungs

you made it hard to breathe

to speak

to try

 

because everyday

i was breaking

losing more and more

of the small scraps of self

that i’d managed to collect

in the wake of their defiant, defining storm

 

he made me want for

something more

and when i left him,

i promised you i would find it

 

we’re still looking

old heart of mine

but we’ve got a new map

of a different kind

 

i haven’t come out

i have joked and hinted at the idea

 

i have made you smaller

i have made you less important

when you are all that i am

 

i am scared

that i have waited too long

that i have done it all wrong

 

i feel like my story is not worth telling

because i do not have one yet

 

i have had no great love

no desperate kiss in the rain

where all i can say is their name

and the violins swell in their song

because i have finally found the one

with whom i belong

 

no

i am still looking

 

i will search the world

for him

or her

 

for you

for me

for us

 

so we can finally be at peace

 

i am bisexual

my heart belongs to no one yet

but you, my heart, belong to me

 

and this is not a choice

just because it took me longer

to learn myself

it does not mean i am any lesser

than those who knew sooner

 

dear heart,

you are free

This poem is about: 
Me
Our world

Comments

fr33_man

This is such a beautiful read. It doesn't matter how long it takes to understand our hearts, but what matters is that we take our time to. It is encouraging to see person letting their heart free after dealing with the struggle of understanding and accepting bisexuality (which, as we both know, can be such a confusing and scary process)

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