My first serious relationship was with a polyamorous nonbinary kid with alternate
personalities. It seems only fitting for me, a pagan nonbinary kid with hallucinations
We took power from the way we stood out.
Queer couple making out in the front of the pit,
or eating pizza directly from the box
in the back row of a church
that you then fell asleep in,
or holding hands over ice cream,
cuddling closer in defiance
as the old man in the crumpled trilby glares.
We took power in the performance,
you chivalrously leading me by the arm into the movie theater,
making a loving fuss over who gets to pay.
We took power in our defiance,
talking loudly about spells on the bus
as if our words could weave power around us
and show how special we were.
We took power in acting the part:
in petty rebellion and the expressions on the faces of strangers.
I wonder though, what would have happened
if we took power in each other.
Because I think we both knew we weren’t in love.
We just needed someone to be intimate with
without too much at stake
I know I just needed that contact.
Hands clasped in a crowd, kisses at family events,
shoulder to curl up around in a cold bedroom,
anything to show I’m not alone.
And I think you just needed the excitement.
Someone to laugh with you
getting tattoos on a first date,
making a scene at the queer bar with the entire polycule,
anything to show you’re not fading.
I think we both knew we weren’t in love
we were just so damn hungry,
that performance art would do.
By Jay Artemis Hull
Jay Artemis Hull is most likely to be found wandering in the woods or writing in strange places. Their work has been published in a handful of literary journals including The Offbeat and Portage Magazine, on their poetry blog verisimilines, and engraved in the sidewalk at Michigan State University.