coming out in our town

on the cusp of coming out, there will be a muted, collective sigh of relief from all those who love her. it may be that her friends in that side street café have been wondering why it took so long for self-awareness to kick her in the guts.

what I know she may not want to hear, she may not want to know, that it’s been bleeding obvious since we all sat on the hot, sticky vinyl benches across the Laminex table from each other in the company of flies and warm milkshakes.

her hair teased into beehive shock, purple black painted nails chewed to the quick, and us, looking like boys in our loose work pants, shirt sleeves rolled back, pretending we can blow smoke rings as a matter of course.

we’d just read Audre Lorde and June Jordan and we know, as if for the first time, that dykes have a voice, increasingly loud, and these dykes are talking to us.

and we know, as if for the first time, that there will be a time for girls like us …

on the cusp of coming out
there will not be
it may not be
unless you put your hand on me
what I already know
you may not want to tell me

Sandra Renew


Sandra is one of the founding editors of Not Very Quiet.