By Katrina Chaves
for salt water
She said: “Let’s get something straight, since I’m not—
and you’re only pretending to be.”
There is no such thing as a “civil war”/
and you can confuse me with castration, (I’ve heard it all before)/
I can be Native and English,
Born in the 80s, raised in the 90s,
I breathe as product of neither, for
grains of sand are studied beneath my feet
with the grandmother I honor when ageism runs rampant,
with a lesbian who brags about shooting guns/killing things,
While I burn sage, reduce rage/ let love cross the street.
But highway-trapped hunger can only see signs:
parallel dividing lines/
So I left him behind/ lay in her bed
Not, as he claimed, to earn “lesbian street cred.”
The taste of burdens lessened
was never 32 flavors of liberation,
or dialogue without conversation/
It was retribution
in silk sheets, ice melting on skin,
in revealing scars and letting fate win.
In uniform or Missouri, distance is kept,
but on Highland Avenue, I could say, Let’s
Make love and Leave Iraq: to Save Darfur: to Free Tibet
To heal again, forgive once more, Never forget.
-If only solutions were simple/
when the political is personal,
overwhelmingly human, insistently wet.
is as political
as this will get.
Katrina lives in Rhode Island. She is a News Editor for Bi Women.