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The Two Worlds of a Bi Poet

A painting of colourful birds and butterflies on a white background.

In my flesh, I must pass
            for straight.
Play it safe and narrow,
            as wife and mother
            in a town where gay and groomer
            are synonyms
            and our local library bans books
            where we exist.
My existence is a threat to their comfort,
            my sexuality always inherently sexual.
Funny how it never works
            the other way around.

But in the digital world,
            I can be me.
I make collages of women in love,
            write their beauty in verse
            and find safety in readers
            that I will never meet or know:
            a pseudo-anonymity,
            an illusion, I know.

Only from a web page
            can I find refuge, community.
            Can I wear a label in my bio
            but can not cold open in person
            with who I really am.
On my porch, I will hesitate
            to put up a rainbow flag
            but in the language of binary,
            code of 1s and 0s,
            I find renewal.

But in a real world
            where your digital footprint
            is scanned and scrutinized,
            where can an artist create?
I suppose I could toil away,
            lock my words behind passwords,
            delete and burn after reading.
But to create and not share,
            is to not create at all.
And to not create
            is the inevitable death
            of a poet.

Cover Image: Photo by rotekirsche20 on Unsplash