“39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide in the past twelve months”—Trevor Project, 2019
I was twelve the fourth time I tried to kiss God.
Malpractice, thankfully, never makes perfect.
But while I watched the bath turn pink
I realized my heart, too, was a traitor;
the very thing responsible for pushing
this life through my teal roots
in the blink of an eye turned its allegiance,
and pushed life out—just kept pushing, pushing,
but isn’t that what the heart does?
Pulls in the worst storms and turns
its back, pushing the gentlest tides away?
I learned from it, how to push everyone away
even myself. Especially myself. I didn’t find him
for another fifteen years
and at first, when I pulled him in
I convulsed and tried countless times
to push him back out. But unlike blood
he stayed. Having learned from the willful heart,
the body holds no loyalty to gender
like a hook to an eye, he fit into me
and, by God, he stayed.
This poem won an honorable mention in Common Ground Review's 2020 Poetry Contest and was published in their 2020 issue