I will save a slither of humanity
for you, my cards held tightly
in my hand.
Do you have any hearts, my love? I wonder at the gates of your quivering lips, yearn to know
of the overwhelming tides that
broach upon your waters.
How can I buoy you?
This corybantic life has no end,
we race for a place in this world,
yet our souls have already outlived the past.
You say that the mystics
won’t allow you to love,
your heart is trapped in
a closet, confined to darkness.
How then will I bring you
I have given you life in
the oddest of places,
conjured up beauty indescribable
and attached it to your eyes.
To those who don’t know you,
they know you through me.
This isn’t enough, though.
You slit your wrists, cleverly avoiding consequences like
you’re famous for doing and I
swallow every condolence,
aching from your premature exit.
Oh love, where can I go
to be free of you, the you
I cannot know?
The fox in the woods
hunts for prey. The bear hibernates, full from months of gluttony.
The raven caws at dawn.
And I . . .
I burrow myself
in a time that can never
reveal who we are.
With entries from 120 contributors, this anthology brings to life what love really looks like for women who love women. Two of my poems: “Embrace” and “The Unbelievable” are amongst the many shared here.
Get your copy and help support this masterpiece that will not only shed a little light on the LGBTQ community, but give you an idea of what it feels like to truly love/admire/care for/and honor a woman while being a woman.
Tre L. Loadholt is a Writer/Editor located in Southeast US. She has been published in several literary journals, anthologies, and print magazines. She has also published three poetry books; Pinwheels and Hula Hoops, Dusting for Fingerprints, and A New Kind of Down. Her work can be found at https://acorneredgurl.com and https://medium.com/a-cornered-gurl.
How does poetry and identifying as lesbian/bi come together for you?
Poetry and being a bisexual woman come together for me just as a melody would to poignant lyrics for the soul. One does not exist without the other. Poetry is my love language–in most cases, it’s how I express myself. Thus, being poetical while being bisexual is a constant in-sync process, it is a truth that will more than likely be a lifelong fact.
How does being a poet inform your views on expressing emotions through writing?
*Author’s Note: If you are lucky/blessed, you have experienced love, you know love. To be in love is still one of the most beautiful feelings I recall. The newness of it can be enticing and enthralling. To fall out of it, well . . . that can be devastating. But, again if you are lucky/blessed, you will always know love.
I wonder who has told you. If you know. If you’ve always known. If you want to know. I think about the right moment to say something, casually bring it up, but there’s nothing casual about coming out — again. I know you should hear it from me, but I am dragging my feet as it has been hard getting them from up under me — I have been sitting on them for too long. You should have known years ago or at least, in October when I told our brothers or when our father called and I confirmed what he already knew in January. Every time I dance around the subject of repeating those words again and this time, to you, I get an ache in my heart. My eyes water. My soul screams.
Everything in me stops.
I see you, but not the woman you are now, more like the infant-to-toddler that you were years ago and I want to hold you close and sing “You are my sunshine” until my throat becomes sore. I suspect that the task has been completed by someone else and you were not given the opportunity to hear me — see me as I spoke those words to you. I hope it hasn’t. I hope I still have time. I tend to sit on precious things, cover them up, then release them when everyone has stopped worrying about the potential harm they can cause. It has always been easiest for me, this method. I am learning to not lean into fear or hide behind it as much as I used to.
You don’t seem to have this issue, but then again, I have only watched you grow up from a distance. Much of my teenage to early adult life was lived before you even began to figure out things on your own. That’s what a nineteen-year gap does to sisters. It pushes them apart without either one knowing it is happening. I can call. I can text. I can pop up at important events. I can do all of this on a whim simply because you ask for my presence, but I can’t even tell you what presses on me more than anything.
I live with the thought of you daily. . . If you’re safe. If you’re learning how to maneuver through life and in the world without someone holding your hand. If your third year of college, now that you’re experiencing it, will strengthen you as much as mine did. You are strong, this is undeniable, but you have been sheltered. If I tell you, will you break? If I don’t, will you do so even more?
“Truly, my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” Psalms 62, 1–2 NKJV
I have missed about twenty Sundays in a row. To sit and count them, to think that my body hasn’t met a pew in over three months, causes me distress, but every time I tell myself that I am going to get it in gear, Sunday arrives, and I sleep in longer than planned. I find peace at my church — strength. I feel what I need to and when I need to there, but my body won’t let me move. My heart won’t, either. I have no idea why. You checked on me first thing in the morning, the other day — said you could not start your day without sending me a note. I missed it. Nearly most of my day went by before seeing your message and by that time, I let the toll of my workday cost me change.
I shared with you my emotions, how I’d been in and out of crying fits, how I am in therapy. This concerned you. You instantly began to worry. You wanted to call me and these days, I don’t welcome phone conversations like I used to. I told you that I was okay, that I’d be fine, I’d only answered your question. I wonder if being too upfront with you will cause you pain or sadness. But, I am growing and learning that I can no longer bite my tongue or hold in what needs to be said based on what the other person may feel when my feelings are expressed. I cannot control the emotions of others. I can only move forward when I feel it’s best to.
There is time. There will be time. I feel that it is nearing. I’d much rather the opportunity to sit you down in my favorite coffee spot, buy your drink and danish of choice, and talk — really talk. I want to sit and be with you, big sister to little sister and spill out what we need to. There are things you have always wanted to share with me and I have things I need to share with you, but distance is our enemy. It won’t be for long. I write. It’s what I do and I have written you a letter. You can sit with my words and I can come out again without even opening my mouth to tell you in person.