By Claudia Van Zellar
Art by Shona Wong
I will not bristle at the thought of strangers
validating my relationship via snail mail
these are not love letters.
I will not be compelled to respond to comments
from men in mail order relationships
though they fail to notice or consider
how not so long ago
their ‘lifestyles’ would have received a similar response
to the unwelcome tripe which they slather
on virtual walls.
I will not buy into arguments about children needing to be raised by hetero parents
when I was happily raised by one mother,
and a village.
I will not cave to the ignorance of others
nor seek to justify why I happen to find compatibility with a human, not a gender
that my soul was open enough to welcome other possibilities
that I am not held to a binary standard simply due to my choice of mate
for all facets of the love spectrum are visible
and deserve to be seen for their essences
without shame or stigma.
This is a matter
that is not up for discussion
it does not belong on your agenda
and I am certainly not keeping it on mine.
But I am silently keeping minutes
I will not anticipate anything
if I can help it.
I look ahead, but I don’t look forward to this
the inevitability of coming out
every time someone assumes my partner’s pronoun
based on my appearance
the dread and vulnerability
of being at the mercy
of other people’s creeds and beliefs
upon revealing myself.
And I will not call this feeling home
for in my own universe
it is immaterial
we all become stateless ashes in the end
while our souls find homes
beyond flesh or gender
beyond perceptions of social worth.
My love is love
it is raw and sometimes dangerous
like this sunburnt, lucky country
I still call home
I sure love this great,
it is the daggy Dad I never really had.