"Every Part of Me Has Always Been Here"
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, CONJURATION, Hustling Verse, and elsewhere.
"'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
Does your new wife know
you wanted to check
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
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
the moon only has a dark side because of you.