Bifurcated Ballade

Jun 27, 2021 | 2018 Winter - What I Want, Poetry

By Samantha Pious

I wish I were a lesbian.
That snaky hiss, that liquid elle,
a bee (as in, let’s be as one)
twisting letters, agile sounds:
the name that dares to make of love
a ringing lips- and tongue-vibration
which makes me think of kyrielle,
medieval, escapades, translation.

I wish I were a lesbian.
Instead I’m only getting bi.
Can barely stomach pan or queer,
myself. Alas, don’t qualify
as woman-loving-only-women.
Can’t deny it — have a tooth
for toxic masculinity!
The tongue, though, specially reserves

a bud or two for them, for her.
I wish I were a lesbian!
My legs, though, they had other plans.
Toes still curl for pretty girls
and fingers also twitch for men
and genderbending folks. And damn,
the same old song is on again:
I wish I were a lesbian

or else (oh song, my little book,
go quick to her and speedily)
some cunning linguist undertook
to mint a koiné that might B
I. Were I a lesbian ————

Samantha Pious is the author of A Crown of Violet (Headmistress Press, 2015), a translated selection of the poetry of Renée Vivien. She still can’t say the word “bisexual.”

Related Articles

Secrets and Safety

By Fatima As I gaze outside my window I am reminded of my crimes all the warning signs my short-sighted copyrights tweets and receipts used against me. I could not go outside and I could not speak and I could not stay here alone as I need to be alone because I wear...

read more

screen time for two

By Sarah Patterson it all comes down to a comment below, i’ll be lower still who am i if not split in two? subscription to someone else’s life somehow both are me somehow both are you i am a follower, not an interaction link to every want, a never need jia tolentino...

read more

Digital awakening

By Bojana In the shelter of the web’s embrace, A realm both vast, both virtual and base, I wandered, lost, in forums, chats, and sites, Seeking self amidst the countless bytes. In the glow of screens, both young and old, A question loomed, a story yet untold. Was my...

read more