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VOL 2: LGBTQ PRIDE POEMS


POETRY COLLECTION VOL 2: LGBTQ POEMS AUGUST 2019


04 Editor's note 06 Zoe Price 08 Cerissa DiValentino 10 Kendall Krantz 12Â Bernadette McComish 21 Autumn Oldaker

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2 23 Carrie Moran 26 Alyssa Dimes 28 Lindz McLeod 31 Marie Nazari 40 Julia Rose Rahm 52 Meet the poets


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Dear readers,

I'm delighted to share with you the second volume of our FWWR Poetry collection: LGBTQ Poems. We had such an outpouring of beautiful and raw poetry that we wanted to create two Ebooks from them for you to take in the words fully. This selection transported me to parts of myself that I'm not sure I knew existed. Places of longing, fear, sensuality, and body memory long tucked away. I hope these works transport you as well to a place and time, to senses, and awakening. What's so powerful about language is that we all take away something unique. I hope that the words of these roaring womxn impact you as much as they did me. Thank you for writing, reading, and roaring with us,

Xo, Megan Febuary Editor-in-Chief


For The Love of Girls Written by. Zoe Price

My sexuality is a book I was given before I could remember it being given. When I was little I would glance at it, finger its pages, its warm spine. I learned to read trying to pronounce the title, but no one ever taught me how to sound out its vowels, its consonants. So as effortlessly as I had stroked its pages it collected dust in my bookcase and my god, I have so many books that I have to read I guess I just forgot about it. And then years went by and I got to growing, got to learning, got to cleaning out my bookcase. And my book was there, but it had been there for so long that I forgot to notice it, like you forget to notice what kind of perfume your mom wore until you’re at her funeral and all you can think about is how one of her goddamned friends smells like her. But now you introduce yourself in the silent light of this waiting room and my book falls to the floor as I look up at you, up at your hair as brown as its cover and your eyes as warm as its spine. And I know now that the book I’ve neglected, the book I set aside for a day when I wasn’t learning to be, learning to leave my skin uncut, learning to live, for a day I could learn to read instead was the book that made the words of my hands, the words of your neck, words of my scars. I read all the letters in your hair, in your eyes, in your fingers. I read the words on your skin, the sentences running across your back, the pages etched into your lips. I can read now.


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What I Pretended I Didn't Know Written by: Cerissa DiValentino

I know how the underside of her arms taste. The bones of her hips like 5 PM golden sunshine atop my torso, beaming through the spinning glass that hangs above our heads like a blessing. There are scattered rainbows dancing across our limbs as we slide our fingers up each other's necks. She tells me she wants to lick the curve of my spine. When I was a child, I tried to capture the inside of her mouth in a mason jar -the first cherry of the season and the smell of cold rain on hot cement. Hummingbird wings flutter in her eyes, they belong to the yard I sat in when I was seven. For hours I mimicked the stillness of cherub statues, I let the hummingbirds know I come in peace. My tongue sucks the likeness from her taste buds, she adores everything sweet too. I run my cheeks across the inside of her thighs, gentle as the finest cashmere blankets that coddled my newborn body when I opened my eyes for the very first time. I tell her she can lick the curve of my spine. I tell her that I have always known how women remind me of sugar.


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Half-Life of a Lady Bachelor Written by: Kendall Krantz

Rachel— I think they’ve got my number. Every day, look over my shoulder. I need to drink something stronger. Every man’s wife that I slept with, every boyfriend I’ve neglected. Grandma died without knowing I’ve been sleeping over with anyone. I’ve done things unprotected, Decided to drive home wasted. Bought things to buy some silence. Telling jokes to avoid violence. Binging on unwanted lovers, Saying just what people want to hear. I sleep in late and then roll over to find someone and feel colder. Kick them out and then do nothing, Stay in bed, praying to someone.

And now I’m out, It all broke down. I know it’s just three in the morning, Sun’s not risen, birds aren’t chirping. I’m on your doorstep, all forgiven, I’ll say, “Baby, I’ll give in.” Made up some shit, “I’m tired of running, I want to rest, let me come in.” Let’s put breakfast in the oven I’ll be an ideal woman-husband. Wouldn’t I make the perfect husband? Don’t look at the storm that’s coming. I’ll be your ideal husband.


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1995 Written by: Bernadette McComish


Are You Experienced? Written by: Bernadette McComish


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Are You Experienced?


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Total Eclipse of the Heart Written by: Bernadette McComish


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Total Eclipse of the Heart


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Drea Written by: Bernadette McComish


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Some Spots You Can't Remove Written by: Bernadette McComish


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Some Spots You Can't Remove


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The Closet Written by: Autumn Oldaker

The closet is a vault. Two girls hold the key. One wants to unlock it, but the other feels like an octopus climbing on land. Is it against God’s will? The preacher walks down the aisle like a guard of prison. Do you want to go to Hell? Should we come out? Can we lock ourselves in? One girl opens the door, the other follows. Can we hold hands or kiss? Students faces are portraits with no eyes. Will God marry us? The closet is a fallen rose petal. One girl lays her head on the other’s shoulder. Stranger’s eyes are glass dolls. Why do they stare like we are a film? Why don’t they gawk at the man and the woman? Stop, don’t walk in the closet. The closet is a vault. Two girls flushed the key.


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Homophily Written by: Carrie Moran

Improvisation is a survival skill. Your whole life distilled, Everything blurred but you resist, Trust that you can handle it, Sidestep the hit with a smile, You've been taking it for awhile. The aftermath is clenching, Protecting the guts you used, Caught between purpose and grief, Staying light on your feet, Choreographing a delicate dance, And not for the last time. With firmness in your spine Your faded heart will color again, Seek out all her friends, Prepare for the next moment She’s forced to battle lines, Don’t you ever challenge my pride.


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Courtship Written by: Carrie Moran

Hunger in your eyes, Up for negotiation; Connection made Or missed with A quick dismissal of lips, Then a conversation Between sheets. Your hips shifting, Covenant to my tongue. You’re rattling my bones, Take what sticks, Cast no stones; This could, should, would, Might never hurt me.


Truth

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Written by: Alyssa Dimes

Truth, if I were to tell you the truth, it would mean that I have to shatter the only image of myself that I have ever known. The truth means honoring the part of me that the world says is faulty or confused. But this part of me is not broken, but it is confused why I won't set her free, perplexed why she can't be with her and him and still be just me. Confused about the fear I feel about telling you, and she senses pain, pain that is her own because she has been cast out into the lonely streets of my subconscious. Rummaging through dumpsters for leftover scraps of love, validation, and acceptance. Anything to keep her afloat in this ocean of denial. This is a truth I am not ready to share with you, so, for now, I choose to share it with myself. So to the woman inside, who deserves to be loved, you also deserve to be free; therefore, I fully accept you as a part of me. No longer will you hide as a nameless wanderer in the shadows. The name I give you is TRUTH!


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Cow Bondage Written by: Lindz McLeod

I want to play splay-hoofed and wide; and shake my muzzled head to disperse the flies. Sonder high of the lightest day, respect life much shorter than mine. I want to sprint from love to love, so that no hurt can catch me up. Spring, my darling, leap from the grass to drink my throat. Don't keen and whine empty words, the promise never worth the wait. Just taste the dust and tell me from the mouthfeel where I'm heading next. I need to claw and mount and pant on the grass all tuckered out. I want to seed my earnest daughters to the eggs which hatch my footsore sons.


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Cow Bondage

Life is too slicked up to be caught. Wearing nothing but a hope of winter logs ablaze with something shovelled from the shadows. I want to gift, I want to share the body as bread, loafing equals, and there's the rubnothing comes of being free but you'll come all night leashed up for me.


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Like Glitter, I Am Endless Written by: Marie Nazari

I am standing in my mom’s backyard, a teen uncertain of themselves, the sun’s heat comforting on my back. I am making chains out of clover, wishing my breasts would sink back into my chest so that the necklace in my hands would lay flat, wishing that these balls of fat would dissolve like a bath bomb in water, all bright colors and biodegradable glitter spreading out and spiraling around me, my girlhood leeched out in a rainbow so I am left more androgynous. I inhale the freshness of the tomato plants, realizing that I am blooming like the dandelions beneath my feet, my gender at birth drifting away, and like the seeds I am also being born again.


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Tithes of Forgiveness Written by: Marie Nazari

she speaks Nepalese, and has hair that swings down her back in voluminous curls she has a gold nose stud, and golden eyes as well. she is asking me how I am. I want to tell her I have a lackluster heart straining against my rib cage and a heavy brain hurtling downwards like an elevator whose cord has snapped and I want her hands to grasp the cable before it hits bedrock. I want to tell her my eyes are two wells whose aquifer has dried up and I need to cry but my lungs sob like I’ve run 10 miles; and winding the handle brings up a bucket with no water.


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Tithes of Forgiveness

I am dying bamboo no longer lucky. I imagine her arms around me in our apartment to save me before I drown and disappear into an artificial night. I tell her I am fine. her luminous laugh would mock me if I told her the truth, as it has every time I’ve tried. I am in love with her happiness. She holds a flickering candle like a talisman. I stand in her shadows seeking tithes of forgiveness amongst golden peals of her Nepalese blinding her from sadness.


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Savannah Written by: Marie Nazari

I reach out a hand palm open against hers my fingers engulfed in her celestial warmth I draw a sunflower with my tongue hard against her softness short-circuiting her thoughts as the sun in her satisfied eyes lights up mine her tongue piercing glints and moon beams dance in her cropped copper tresses


Fire ly

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Written by: Marie Nazari

I love someone I shouldn’t with short, dirty blond curls a cute Jewish nose and milky skin so opalescent it glows in the sunlight his intensity alluring and alarming a laser beam on my soul I love someone I shouldn’t with dark mahogany skin that brushes my olive skin when our hands dangle between moving bodies her one track mind racing beside mine I want pale arms to hold me tightly as we lie close together on his couch alone in the basement watching Firefly


Firefly

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a computer programming joke on his taut shirt making me smile even though I can’t understand the technical side of his mind I want desperately to clasp her hand smudged with ink from her drawing one thumb nail painted burgundy, as we walk to the bus stop I can’t stop staring at it, distracted from her words by the sexiness of that red against beautifully deep skin and a clingy scarlet v neck and when she gets mad at me later for not listening, I can’t blame her my heart palpitates after dinner (not a date) at an intimate Indian buffet, dim lights and few customers because I can’t Ever Do that


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Firefly

I can’t focus on the food or the tv just on brown eyes and thighs that nearly touch mine, staring at the hand lying beside me an intense personality confusing my heart and my desire because I’m an asexual lesbian in love with a guy— and our colors are never supposed to mix and girls don’t have crushes on their best friends especially not ones already in a relationship— and our colors are never supposed to mix


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Tangerines Written by: Marie Nazari

Her love did not surprise me, But her reality did, The way her fingers interlaced with mine Or brushed a disobedient curl off my cheek. Her love did not astonish me, But her hazelnut eyes did Deeper than a country well And so piercing that an Eb clarinet Could not win in a staring contest. Her love did not surprise me, But her understanding did, That sometimes the brain puts up a fight And plans need to be cancelled, And, well, tangerines... But I will still love her, Squeeze her hand to tell her Everything will be okay, Tangerines and all.


The Flower of our Love Written by: Julia Rose Rahm

When the Flower of our Love first sprouted from the ground, I, from the jubilant green, had visions of the Beauty that could be When that proud stalk began to walk, Heavenward, I imagined Giants in the Sky Yet every leaf’s meandering, flowing out and up and down, surprised my eyes and delighted my mind— She knew where she wanted to grow But did we know? We nurtured her, watered her with care, attention and warmth until bright buds blossomed throwing their arms up to the sun!


The Flower of our Love

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Never prouder had I been of the Beauty we had gardened a Love so full, so powerful, Nature flowing freely! But the Winter of Change challenged our blossoms, despite the light we bathed them in, they floated to the floor We watered wearily, stayed up late, tended tried tendrils, showered with well-wishes, prayers of potential... “Just grant her again her lushness, Lord” But Nature’s way could not be curtailed, despite our desire for more. ...


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The Flower of our Love

Sometimes a Flower must be trimmed, the once-green stems must fall, in place of dry hope leaving her to die, Transformation... ...was the call Our winter love-flower could never be that same-old Peak of Summer Rapture Yet now, Freed from withered stems she rises simple standing straight up skyward She is forever ours to care for, cultivate, learn from, enjoy Let’s raise a glass of freshest water to her past glory present sobriety future potentiality... and to the letting go of all that no longer serves Her Greening the way she damn well pleases.


All This Expansiveness Written by: Julia Rose Rahm

Stagnant, I assumed my waters to be, Spring minerals caught in pools of algae, Swirling only slovenly, Settling in the depths of murky madness

We assume blockage is forever, And then the rains come

How could I forget all of Nature’s potential, Bridging the gap between my wounds and my power , To love once again?

Sometimes I feel a wall around my heart, Protection mistaken for progress,


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All This Expansiveness

But thought of you has shaken it down, Bricks tumbling into the watery mote below

Rock dissolves into silt, Flurries of dust carried off to unite with the ocean . All my loves of the past, I hope will find their Pathway to the vastness of the sea

That red brick water of passion, Dissolving defenses, My castle stands tall, open to all. Bringers of song, of story, of art, of pain, of pleasure, of triumph, of failure, of lost love, of passion rekindled, of fire, of water, of air and ether and earth


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All This Expansiveness

All this expansiveness, Just at the thought of you......

How could I be anything but grateful?


Fog Over a Miracle Written by: Julia Rose Rahm

Fly me far from the noise, The numbing chatter of falsehood, Like raindrops obscuring the calm of a lake With boundless chaos

My heart has been tucked away, A seed buried in soil, Unable to see beyond a brown shroud Into what lies above

But the water seeps through, A stew of spring, tears and dew, Absorbed into this Seed-Heart, Gathering energy to start anew


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Fog Over a Miracle

First it’s a long time sitting in shit, Turns out to be nourishing stuff... Quite uncomfortable as I wait for this garden to open its gate

Come on, shoots, push up through the clay! A thousand thoughts rush my way: “Is there beauty beyond?” “Am I pointing the right way?” “Will I remember where I came from, each step toward the day?” “Are there others like me?” “Will our leaves intertwine?” “Will my roots hold me steady?” “Will I remember I’m good?” “Or will the variety of life make me feel misunderstood?”

I’m not sure of the answers, But as I sit here in silence,


Fog Over a Miracle

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I can feel that kernel of love in my core, Bursting forth green shoots that pierce through me at dawn

All the stories, the lies told to me, That somehow I end up repeating Are nothing but fog over a miracle

She continues to unfurl within and without As life does Whether unseen and buried, Or visible as a sprout

This miracle cannot be stopped

She is, Was, and Forever Will Be.


Trustfall Written by: Julia Rose Rahm

How to do that daring deed, like number nil, The Tarot Fool, Leap off the ledge into the healing pool

I do not know what awaits below whose hand will catch me as I fall?

I do not want to be caught.

What I want is to fly!

With rainbow wings I’d


Trustfall

sewn together with bare hands fingernail-bitten and imperfect

I painted them with the colors of our auras , as they mixed together in my bed, some crystallization of color born from my own Phoenix-Rising

I want to ask you to jump with me, but you already went your way. My heart cracked wide open, wingspan flung wide, Now it’s my time to play

Coming home to my Heart again is full of harrowing feats: A marionette running in place in the air , suddenly cuts off its own strings “Strings, wings, flings,” she sings,


Trustfall

it doesn’t matter the words, an incantation inevitable, her ears hear the song of her Soul

She—I loved once—no—many a time, She—myself—will love again Me—she—we—I will be loved again, more beautifully and easefully than we could ever imagine

n that trustfall, The lone leaper is keeper of courage, art, beauty, science, of being alive Being Alive... Being. Alive.


Meet the Poets JULIA ROSE RAHM Julia Rose Rahm is an opera singer, poet, actor, mystic, francophile, cosmic nerd, wild woman, and gay lady. Her passion rests in exploring the human voice in all it's creative expression. Through it, she wants to connect to your heart.

ALYSSA DIMES Alyssa Dimes is a native of the Greater Cleveland area. She is a passionate, creative writer of poetry and short stories. She is a lover of the arts she enjoys painting, writing and drawing. She enjoys visiting art exhibits, aquariums, and traveling to new countries and states. Her dream is to publish a book of poems and a fantasy novel.

LINDZ MCLEOD Lindz McLeod is a Scottish author and poet, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She has published poetry with Wingless Dreamer,Passaic/Vรถluspรก, Prometheus Dreaming, Meat For Tea: the Valley Review, and Indie Blu(e)Anthologies.

MARIE NAZARI Marie Nazari currently lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Most of their writing involves how they engage with the world as a disabled, mentally ill, and queer person.

AUTUMN OLDAKER Autumn Oldaker is a student at the University of Central Florida. She was a part of Writers Unknighted club at UCF, the club made a book where her work is published, and she took The Florida Review course.

ZOE PRICE Zoe Price is an emerging writer from Santa Rosa, California. She is passionate about fighting for equality of gender identity and sexuality through her writing.


CARRIE MORAN Carrie Moran is a poet and photographer currently residing in Orlando. She is a native of Upstate NY, but her heart is scattered everywhere. Her art has been shown in venues around Orlando. She’s had poems published in Rejoinder and Smartish Pace. She is a queer feminist who advocates for the rights of all humans, and spends as much time outdoors as possible.

KENDALL KRANTZ Kendall Krantz is a writer and undergrad at Brown University. She is pursuing a combined M.A./B.A. in English and Judaic Studies. Her work can be found in publications such as McSweeney's, the Tulane Review, and a forthcoming Kurt Vonnegut Literary Magazine, among others. She has a poetry chapbook entitled "Clockwork Android."

CERISSA DIVALENTINO My pronouns are "she/her/hers" and I identify as queer. I am currently studying Creative Writing and Literature at SUNY Purchase College in Purchase, NY. My work has appeared in The Daphne Review, the Of Love and Dedication anthology by the Live Poets Society of NJ in conjunction with Poetry!!!, the Chronogram Magazine, The Telling Room and Carthexis Northwest Press. I love dancing and reading Jeannette Walls.

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Vol 2: LGBTQ Poetry