Out there, on the farm, it couldn’t have mattered less.
Not that I was the only human among the beasts,
but I was the only one of my kind, and still,
it never mattered.
We were, every one of us, coupled or not, quite lonely,
so we became a pack of coyotes way down the canyon,
splintering bones, tailing dogs. We were cow chasers,
egg candlers, friends about the fire. We moved a literal
ton of feed with naked strength, peeled heirloom garlic
until we bled beneath the nails, went to work far before
the sun did. Minds gone soft with grass, with scotch, with
the stylings of Toots & the Maytags, we were bodies tending,
tending, tending, never bodies in the better, baser way—
Columbia, Winston-Salem, Philadelphia.
Ithaca, New York City, Denver, Philly again:
by the time of the farm, it had been twelve years
and eleven addresses since coming out
to my parents and be it boon or risk,
it had always at every stop along the way,
mattered. For me, the non-issue was an issue.
Sure, there was relief in it—
an invited hush—
but also deep loss: normalized, all difference
ceased; I was queer like I was
liberal or Southern or blue-eyed.
Like I got hungry, got thirsty, needed air.
Visual art by Nelly Sanchez