When I Was Straight

By JULIE MARIE WADE

I did not love men as I do now.

I loved them wincing & wanting to please.

I loved them trying too hard.

 

The world was an arrow pulled taut,

pointing toward an altar.

I was blushing & bashful, but never

 

a bride.

 

There were little things, too.

I had hosiery, a silky camisole,

a nice pair of heels. But I’d have to slip

 

them off if the man was shorter

than I, slouch against walls, one knee

always bent like a penitent

 

at communion.

 

I may have smiled more then,

the part of my lips so often mistaken

for happiness. In fact, it was something else—

 

a fissure, a break in the line—the way

a paragraph will sometimes falter

until you recognize its promise as

 

a poem.

 

 

Julie Marie Wade is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir.

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 07]

Julia PikeWhen I Was Straight

Related Posts

Con

STEPHEN O'CONNOR 
We decided to start with a con. She was small, with blonde hair and an unidentifiable accent that gave her voice the warped vowels and ee-haw rhythms of a handsaw. She approached him on the footbridge, made a startled noise, and looked down.

Shadow on grass

Poetry by Iraqi Women in Translation

NADIA AL-KATIB
"Definitions"
My heart is a pear
your pocket can’t contain—
my heart is poorly
stored. It starts to rot.
My story? I’m a girl
tempted into
a wonderland.

poetry and democracy

April 2019 Poetry Feature: Jessica Lanay

JESSICA LANAY
We dampened the cool white sheets
throwing each other, knowing
we are both liars; we didn’t get
what we wanted: me—a chest
to shelter me for the night; you—
some reassurance that you had any
power at all in the world.
We awoke and love abandoned