War is Over, by Ernest Volynec
For what we knew to be our second date
We went to go see some spoken word poet the campus had brought in.
For the most part, she talked about the female experience and being queer.
I felt confident enough to hold your hand in public
but still made an excuse when I saw my roommate to let go.
The next morning I walked across campus feeling lost, but I walked this path maybe a thousand times.
I felt like a butch for being exactly who I was in that moment.
But it had nothing to do with being in love with you.
I had loved you since the day we met three years earlier and every second since.
But with each tread of combat boots I thought so cute and trendy, I felt one step further from
chic and one closer to a threat.
The red plaid hoodie that had been my safety blanket since I received it from a boys name who
doesn’t even deserve to be in this poem now felt like a straight jacket screaming to the world l
was the man in a relationship.
I stared at the ground so my lack of makeup couldn’t be mistaken as masculinity, instead of just
Your phone call jarred me from these thoughts.
“Where are you” you asked tenderly.
Like you actually ached from not being next to me.
I rounded the corner bursting with love until I felt my heart sink into the hollowness of my
What will people think of the two girls sitting across a table wearing matching shirts?
Will they think we’re best friends who share a brain?
Or will they think we’re too gay to have our own identity? We’re just a stereotype to follow…
I tried to let my mind forget anything but the warmth you let me feel for the first time in
months, but instead
I felt cold and distant, no longer able to open up to my best friend because you’re now my girlfriend.
I’ve known for a long time I could love a woman.
I thought the gender identity of my partner would never phase me.
And I was right. It doesn’t
Because I’m too busy wondering what other people think.
Not of you, not of us.
Of me. The newly minted dyke.