In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Love, don’t hold my hand

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Standing in line, wondering if it’s my time, if I’m next.

Horror dominates the mood of this meet-market place. 

How many times have I walked hand in hand with her

strolling in the night along busy streets, on the beach,

arm and arm, not a care what the world around us was?

She once asked me if I were afraid. “Of what?” I asked

then genuinely confused at the context of her asking.

She knew because she was no Johnny Cum Lately like

she found me, days when I thought we were so free to

love anyone, our choice, our lives, nobody’s business.

That was then, before the killing, so now I understand

her hesitance, reticent PDA despite her overwhelming 

urgency to touch me, keep me close and hold my hand.

Now I know how much I never knew what it was like to

clasp your hand to the back of your neck to smother it,

 the burning, piercing glances and hateful lookaways 

and disgust, unknown to me, a judging by appearance, 

though I never hid my femme, wore it loudly just like I 

wear that tremor of hateful contempt-tossed-at-me-

cringe once someone knows my tribe, the most stead-

fastly, longest-standing hated people in all the world.

But since I did not reveal it in my skin nor my love life,

I was freer than those targets who had no choice but to

be who they were, but to love who they loved and to be

fluid bodies delighting, sensating and breathing light

by which we all create our mad comedies and tragedies 

called our civilized, social, contractual, consensual lives. 

Believing I was anyone’s everyone, I was simply wrong. 

I’m noone’s; I’m in between everyone–not any where,

watching the others duck and dodge bigots and bullets. 

 

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