A Calling to Sapphists
I had to step back into the community. The draw to lesbians, I felt I could boil it down to the ratio of straight to queer women who understood the full indoctrination of the patriarch. More city dwellers and poets tended to connect with the feminine presence and ached for her absence so tended gardens. I thought of Christian to gay authors, the silk screen over the cannon, I wanted to expose the erotic sensual with Miller and Nin, masquerade with June - the temptress turned Brooklyn social worker, at the end of it all. They were nowhere to be found. People were in chains again, or still. They couldn't see the boxes while yearning for holograms, and really, wasn't that it? Consumerism minus consciousness. Depletion without replenishing. Was that tied into why I loved women? Drawn to Sapphists? I miss them…the queer community in the desert is forming, gathering, but I have been spoiled by the Village, Holyoke, Northampton. I cannot employ a reason to compare; only to say when I am there I know I am not alone…and when I am here…solitude and the library embrace me. I turn Rich over and over, like bedsheets. I follow Lorde, sheepishly admiring her Artemis stance and quick tongue. I ride on the sculpted backs of Gilman's Amazons in a world where women have learned to fly. Dive into the river looking Woolf in the eyes - the whole way, until they were eaten by fish and turned back into poems.I sit invisible in a shack cabin with Winterson mourning over women with hair like waves of roses and a deficiency to risk love for safety. I was Isis to Sappho after Jong carried Jason away on a lie. I belong to them - we kept each other alive…in the desert…
At Holyoke we kissed for two hours while Ani toured Knuckle Down. I slept with a pre-Law cowgirl at Smith
that night and the whole time I imagined she was Sylvia Plath and I had a chance to save her before Hughes
came along with children. That summer I lay in Westfield apple orchards and for the first time a girl saw green
in my eyes. She had to keep all of her lesbian books hidden in the trunk of her car - they were unChristian -
we couldn't help ourselves. She's been with the same guy for four years but doesn't love him anymore, just like
she doesn't speak Latin now and forgot how to write poems. She took me to a farmhouse bookstore
and prayed to my silhouette at dusk - the earth smelled of apples, lavender, and the nectar of our bodies.
Even in Queens, we made love on the side of the photo lab in the woods. Tai Chi students cradled the crane
as my only articulation became hands instead of names, my naked torso was her mother's favorite portrait
on an antique cherrywood piano, I slept in July under her canopy in Boston suburbs, woke to Quincy Market
or cafes in the Commons, dipped my hands into Vermont streams after pleasing a pixie in the mountains
the entire rumbling of water around us like a thousand marble fountains, we loved like liquid until we were
both smoothed over - rocks into stones - the dance of flowers into fairies, transforming the world around
us into color.