"Every Part of Me Has Always Been Here"

Allison Armstrong

Allison Armstrong is a queer, white, leather femme, a kitchen witch, and a Professional Naked Girl living on an ancient seabed, and unceded Algonquin territory, in Ottawa, where she writes poetry, reads tarot, and makes things with her hands. Her work has appeared in Moonchild Magazine, Cauldron Anthology, CONJURATIONHustling Verse, and elsewhere.

queeroticpoetry.wordpress.com

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"'Every Part of Me Has Always Been Here' is a glosa of A. Light Zachary's 'Bye.' Glosas incorporate sequential lines from the work of another poet as an integral part of a response (an echo, a rebuttal, a deepening) of the original, riffed-upon poem. As a queer femme, I find this poetic form particularly reflective of the ways femme queers riff on, respond to, promote, and encourage each other."

     I remember that night

     The fight we had

     How you told me

     “If you won’t let me get you pregnant really soon

     I’ll have to conclude that

     my marriage to you has been a waste of time”

     How you were engaged again

     before the ink on the divorce papers was dry

     How obvious it was that

     any body that would have obeyed, lain

     with legs spread and hips open

     to the same goals       would have done

     I wonder

     Does your new wife know

     you wanted to check

     “Father”

     off on your life’s to do list?

     That you think raising your own kids

     is “babysitting”? That you wanted someone to be

     pliant while you worked out your frustration,

     wrestled with your hand-me-down

     white guy

     masculinity?

     Maybe you’ve grown up since then but

     I know that fight wasn’t really about children

     It was about my autonomy

     getting in the way

     of what you wanted (me) to be

     Maybe, in this poem, I’m the moon,

     tidally locked to face your idealization.

     What is a bride but a reflection,

     the shining opposite of her groom?

     And I was groomed       intentionally or not

     The dark side of me

     kept hidden in order to show you

     in the best light

     It's been here all along       Cherished and necessary

     Wanted more than you were

     Don’t believe

     the moon only has a dark side because of you.

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