queer phototropism

when i stroke your face,
petals blossom from my fingers

we bloom
into a garden of violets and lilacs

our breath whispers into the meadows
of our intertwined bodies

causing every stem to sway, bend
and braid with one another

Why I can’t shuffle cards

I am sitting on your living room floor,
watching you try to teach me
how to fold my fingers around a deck of cards to shuffle them
the way you learned how in eighth-grade choir class,
but I keep getting distracted by how the light
folds around your face and
the way your smile makes my heart ache
in the best kind of way
so each time I try, the cards spill out
from my hands like a tarot deck gone rogue
with frustration at its user ignoring all the signs
it’s been giving because it’s ready for me to,
as that crab in the mermaid movie says,
kiss the girl and stop stalling.
but I can’t stop watching you grin
and can’t stop listening to you laugh
long enough to bridge the space between us
and do so, so I’ll keep playing with cards
and throwing them across the floor
as long as you will keep trying to teach me
so that I can keep watching you

The 1950’s lesbian pulp fiction bookcase at Recycled Books, Records, & CDs

each shelf filled with tales
of women lazily touching
each other’s thighs and forearms
with soft wandering fingers
in motel rooms and army barracks,
kisses hidden in shadowed moments,
hands held under the covers where
no one could see,
side glances in public spaces,
gentle hands cupping breasts late at night
with slow and gentle movements,
climaxes filled with women
screaming women’s names
and institutionalizations and suicides
because they used to say
no woman could be both
homosexual and happy


Day 7 of Na/GloPoWriMo

Once the government said you couldn’t publish gay porn because it would make readers gay. Maybe I read too much lesbian fanfiction growing up and that’s why I ended up gay. Or it could just be I was born this way, you know. I’ve been spending way too much money at this bookstore, buying as many books from this pulp fiction section as possible. Just to save them and to remember how things once were and how far we’ve come.

I’m not sure if I’m done with this poem. The end doesn’t feel quite there. Perhaps I need to add myself into the poem, an interaction with the books. But I also feel like it doesn’t need me in it. Hmmm. Thoughts for another day. Just glad I’m getting this up even if I’m not satisfied with it. Yay for posting drafts!


We bathed together
last summer,
calves touching thighs
and fingers touching fingers
as we splashed water
upon one another’s faces,
and when I bathed tonight,
alone except for a few shampoo bubbles,
I felt your fingers on my skin,
caressing my palms
and curve of my neck
and I opened my eyes
only to see the wall
instead of you.


Perhaps it’s the light of the television sliding across your cheeks
that attracts me so,
or perhaps the curve of your eyelids
framed by those soft eyelashes
or the shine on your lips, recently licked
or the eyes, glinting blue
in the dark living room
or the scar tissue roughing
the knuckles I can’t stop
running my thumb across.

my love,
it’s the soft skin
above your waistband
or the gentleness
of the insides of your thighs and elbows.

Perhaps it’s the puzzled frown
stretched across your face,
furrowing those eyebrows,
raising your ears, sculpted
in supple curves
and the calves
along which
I run my palms,
as I sit beside you
on the couch,
watching your eyes begin to close
at the onset of the dreams.