Gloriously Wicked By Ailey O’Toole

Gloriously Wicked

Coming out feels like a revolution,

feels like       Rome burning,

feels like the first Pride

re-enacted inside my chest.

I say,        “I’m bi,” and a tidal

wave crashes into my mother’s

bedroom. I slip my hand

into yours and all the birds

drop dead.

Coming out feels like thirteen

slammed doors, feels        like

breath held for millenia, feels

like the Stonewall Riots banging

on my ribs.

I say,        “I’m bi,” and my father’s silence

echoes louder than it’s ever been. I kiss

you and all the oceans

dry up.

Coming out is              a leak

that never stops dripping,

rainwater pooling in every crevice.

It is never easy but

it is always glorious.

By Ailey O’Toole


Ailey O’Toole is a queer poet and bartender who writes about feminism, empathy, and pain. She hopes everyone who reads her poems feels less alone in their struggle. Her work has previously appeared in or is forthcoming from After the Pause, Rising Phoenix Review, Ghost City Review, Bone and Ink Press, Okay Donkey, and others. She tweets at @ms_ocoole.


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