LOVELAND, CO, 2011: SELF, STEWARD by Katherine Fallon


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