I was taught that vinegar and water don’t mix

Color me blue and separate me out

Only out girl in church that Sunday but

Leaving the lesbian bar bathroom

“That’s a straight girl if I ever saw one”

We are never enough of either


It seems to me we are all a product of privilege and oppression

Carrying fingerprints of both on our skin and

Folding letters from the captivated and the captors

Equally between the folds of our brain tissue


You can fold me into whoever you want me to be

Like a snotted handkerchief in a denim pocket

Long after I’ve stopped trying to fold myself.


I say call me warm bread from the oven and passion tearing itself into a movement

Call me scars on a ladder of Italian immigration

But a lone planet in family orbitation


Call me terrified but rarely ostracized and often alone

Call me a toe-curling orgasm and sobs under a starry sky


And be proud of all that you are and are not

But not so proud your originality becomes an excuse

Because differential equations always equal human subtraction

And I want to always be equal parts pride and humility





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