What About Love? Is There Anymore Left in the World?

3 Micro-stories about 3 LGBTQ children

Photo by Daniel TrutaI via ReShot

It is my birthday. I am five. Mommy throws a big party for me. No one comes. I eat my cake in one of the corners of our living room — tears fall. I don’t care, anymore. I don’t care. Mommy says she’ll always love me — she’ll always be there. I know the love of my mommy. I don’t of anyone else. I want to. I really, really want to. Right now would be a good time.

Photo by Monica G via ReShot

I cherish this picture of my brother and me. It was so long ago. We were inseparable. I remember the day I told him I was bisexual just like it was yesterday. The look on his face crushed me — the words that left his mouth soon after will always haunt me . . . “You’re no sister of mine.” It is a reminder of the love I had and the love I lost. I didn’t know one’s heart could break more than once. And now, I know.

Photo by Mohmmad Hilmi via ReShot

I am “It” to people. “Is it a boy?” or “Is it a girl?” No one thinks about me as a person. My family is ashamed of me. I hate feeling what I feel, but I feel what I feel, and I can’t stop it. I love my sister’s clothes. I love my mother’s dresses. I like having my hair teased and feathered. My brother kicked me in my stomach the other day — that was followed by a swift punch to my nose. I’m gaining thick skin from all of this — thick skin. It’s the reason I can still smile.

“Young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) enter the child welfare system for reasons similar to those of other children and youth — that is, their birth families cannot provide a safe, stable, and nurturing home. In some cases, families reject, neglect, or abuse young people when they learn that they identify as LGBT or are questioning their romantic/sexual orientation or gender identity. According to one study,1 about 26 percent of LGBT 2 youth are forced from their homes because of conflicts with their families of origin over sexual orientation or gender identity. Physical violence is also a concern for LGBTQ youth.”Youth.gov

Author’s Note: We must come together as one — if not for ourselves, for the children of this world. They need us. But we are often too blind to see this. I pray this will change one day soon.

Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.

I Am Speaking To the Shadows of Your Past Self

Musical Selection: Moonchild|Cure

A Prose Poem

Photo by R. Walker via ReShot

I know not to call you anymore. I know not to text. I let the thoughts of you wander in and caress my shoulders, but I do not engage. The holidays are here with their incessant come-hither vibes, and I am weary. I flit between loneliness and happiness and unsureness effortlessly.

I ache in several places. Many I can disclose. Others, I cannot. You would know if you saw a certain look windmill past my eyes. You would catch it quicker than a hare racing a tortoise. Always eager. Always waiting . . . passionately. At least, you knew what I needed most and when I needed it.

I have not had my needs met in a number of months that exceed this God-forsaken virus’ inception, and I miss you. I miss what used to be us sneaking in quickies before the children rose from their beds. And there’s no one I can tell. There’s no one who would listen. So, I talk to the air. It can keep a secret.

Being with you was my imagination’s way of reminding me I can go overboard and well . . . I need a lifeboat now. I can say it without feeling ashamed. I am speaking to the shadows of your past self, and they tell me in faint whispers, “You must move on. You must break free.” Get me there, I say to myself — just get me there . . . wherever there is. But . . .

I am stuck. Still planted in the same spot you left me, and try as I might, I can’t lift myself to freedom.

I have smiling faces around me — cluttered in love, googly-eyeing one another, and I am envious. I don’t want to be. No one wants to hear about a person wallowing in their loneliness — spreading self-pity. It’s contagious, and there are no vaccines against it. So, I spend time alone. It seems fitting. No one questions it.

The dog paws at the tears that fall from my eyes. She’s used to this habit of sulking — these seasonal blues. And really, I wish she wasn’t. I wish I wasn’t.

You’re probably wrapped in love’s cure-all right now — shit-talking your husband playfully — preparing to chant positively for another new year. I hope you’re at peace. You always were. I guess, you always will be . . .

Especially without me.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium.

Ode to a Man Who Once Called Me a “Porcelain Doll”

Photo by Andrea Joseph via ReShot

years ago, when I was still
wading in closeted waters, a man
I loved wrote a poem for me.
he had always been kind–never
uttered a word of disrespect in
my direction and I swam in
every word of his as if they
were Heaven’s bath.
his poem, entitled, “porcelain doll,”
stuck to my bones and
hasn’t pulled its gluey residue
away from me, and I
hold on to his words–they
calm me when times shuck
the peacefulness from my mind.

we still communicate. I doubt
we’ll ever break free of each
other–friends, almost lovers,
back to friends, almost lovers . . .
it’s a cycle that has its own
tune and I can hum it in
seven different languages.
I’m still working on my
Swahili, but German and French
have made a solid return.
every time I see a text message
from him bubble to my
phone, a child of a different decade
ushers in her presence.
he still makes me feel like
living is the best gift from God.

and it is a Tango’d web which
I’ve found myself dancing on,
and these days–I do not wear
the best shoes for the job.
here is a man so far away from
me, so far away from my presence,
but near in others . . . what will
change? what can change?
he is someone for who I’d relocate–
shift life goals, and pack up
all my things once more.
yet, here we are . . .
afraid to take the plunge.

the years pile on, aging us
both in ways often hard to
discern–is today a good day
to broach the subject? will tomorrow be?
the dog doesn’t know his face,
hasn’t heard his voice, but
I recall every image of him
shared with me and still have to
beat his voice out of my ears
during the witching hours.
could sleep be better alongside
his body entwined with mine?

this man, for whom I carry
both pain and joy–settles in
the thickness of my breasts,
caresses my aura. the Chakras
of my body align with the presence
of the Holy Spirt, and I am
devout in this form of worship.
I won’t label myself . . .
I won’t mock my growth . . .
but long ago, years before, when
I was still wading in closeted waters,
he wrote a poem for me.
I was his “porcelain doll.”

I Don’t Send Christmas Cards To You Anymore

Photo by Jenny Smith via ReShot

An Audio Poem

I don’t send Christmas
cards to you anymore
and while that may not
be a thing to share with
others for many people,
it is something I think about.
eighteen years of celebrations
and laughing and love and gifts
and . . . and . . . every fucking thing
else and now . . . nothing.

I walked away from a vehicle
that was a financial burden
when the price was right
and I thought immediately after,
“This is something _______ would
do, not me.” but, there I was,
nodding to the rhythm of the
words coming out of the
sales associate’s mouth. 
I took my check and ran.

the dog buries herself in
my lap, nesting painfully–
my thighs have scratch marks
failing to heal.
I spoil her. 
she can have her way.
hers is a pain I don’t mind.

I set myself up, Shutterfly’d
customized holiday cards with
my smiling face plastered on
the front — the dog, wearied and
bothered on the back.
this is our way of
being present in a time
where place is no longer
tangible — I can’t touch it.
I can’t get to it.

I’ve spent these last two years
secretly weeping over a woman
who has yet to call me
to ask me to return.
how egoistic of me — how
traditionally insufficient. 
but I said it. I admit it.
shouldn’t this count for something?

winter is spinning around
the lonely souls — blanketing
us with past loves and reminding
the willowed bones of
their frailty. what would I
say if I heard your voice today?
how would I react?

who knows? who knows?
I just know it’s one more year
of no Christmas card to you
and no redemption for me
and that . . . still hurts
when it’s not supposed to — 
not anymore.

Originally published in The Junction via Medium.