Existing as Bi, Age 19

Jul 3, 2021 | 2017 Spring - Bi+ Creativity, Poetry

By Kirsten Fedorowicz

You ask me which way I swing.
I say that I like swing dancing on Tuesdays,
Bodies pressed together in a mess of twirling skirts
Tapping shoes
Boys who ask you politely to dance,
Girls who meet your eyes and smile,
Teeth glittering under warm city lights,
With the aid of tender moonlight.

You asked me which way I swing
I said I love fall mornings and my sister’s
hair has always curled better than mine.
She likes it short, likes when it rains
Because her locks become as bouncy as the trampoline
We used to have in our backyard.
I cut my hair to look like hers
Because I thought it might better fit my identity
Grazing shoulders rather than
Falling past them and listen,
I never liked flannels until I went to college,
their way into my wardrobe has stopped feeling like coincidence.

You ask me which way I swing
I say my father still refers to gay people as “living an alternative lifestyle” and
I’ve always liked alternative music
It reminds me of my best friend from high school,
Who always asks about crushes and
My family always asks me if there are any boys in my life,
And I have responses prepared like
I’m busy. I’m not interested. I’m too scared.

You ask me which way I swing.
I say I’ve already told you.
I can’t hit the ball right, I always strike out,
Drop my dribbles,
Stray from the questions,
Stray from heterosexuality but I
Spent most of softball season plucking grass in the field.
I tell you I don’t like math,
That percentages don’t fit in my poet’s mouth right,
Feel clunky as they are pulled from my tongue.
I am trying not to make myself my own secret.

You say I am going through a phase,
I agree.
I remind you that I am the moon
On a starry night,
Who falls in love with the ocean
Waxes and wanes
With the brilliancy of every smile.
You do not tell the moon
Her affection is not worthwhile.
You tell the moon her love is beautiful,
No matter what shape it takes.

Kirsten is a student at Aquinas College in Michigan, studying English and Women’s Studies. She is passionate about feminism, environmentalism, running, and flower crowns.

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