Note to self: at least I know I couldn’t have been an accident
I have this tendency, call it the glass is
so close to empty, call it I can only remember absence
and not the substance before the gone.
I do not remember my mothers’ together.
Each, separate, alone.
As in, how do I know an end without a beginning
I know the beginning. But in sum:
There once was a woman and a woman who
Probably maybe loved each other but were mostly
So alone they needed someone.
Can accident be defied as not planned well
Or is it simply unplanned?
If I do not know the beginning, but I claim to know
The end, do my words have any value?
Or do I exist at a re-memory foundation.
Like the concept
Of empty only exists when one knows full
Like I should say first they met as roommates
In a hot tub drinking whiskey
on a softball field with a bat
at a bar with mutual friends.
But I know this is not my beginning.
My beginning is pain—for what is a queer
Without sadness and movement. The queer
As synonymous for being alone.
I come from empty.
From too late.
From we fucking need something.
I wonder, what do I know of divorce if I do not
What if my understanding of together is to simply not be alone.
What if my understanding of family exists in its absence.
In an absence that sparks together .
What do I know of love
If my mothers are afraid to hold hands.
My understanding of father only exists in the absence of one.
By Cori Bratby-Rudd
Cori Bratby-Rudd is a queer LA-based writer and poet. She graduated Cum Laude from UCLA’s Gender Studies department, and is a current MFA Candidate in Creative Writing at Cal Arts. Cori enjoys incorporating themes of emotional healing and social justice into her works. She is currently living in the Los Angeles area and has been published in Ms. Magazine, The Gordian Review, Califragile, among others. She recently won the Editorial Choice Award for her research paper in Audeamus Academic Journal and was nominated as one of Lambda Literary’s 2018 Emerging Writers.