Chiaraoscuro

Nov 1, 2012 | 2012 Fall - Traveling While Bi, Articles

By Katrina Chaves

Thank God
for salt water
Impalas
Marlboros
bad poetry:
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,
sleeping on
either shore
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:
exits
arrows
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.
So
her fingertips
on thighs
is as political
as this will get.

Katrina lives in Rhode Island. She is a News Editor for Bi Women.

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