In These Nights We Heal Just a Little Bit By Lauren Elizabeth Taylor

In These Nights We Heal Just a Little Bit

as we stare into each other’s eyes, sunlight morphs
into moonlight, into another night of gentle touches

on soft skin and releasing secrets into an air only
we breathe. our bodies, barely clothed, fit together

like we were made to be one, like all of the gods
conspired to conceive this connection between

two mere mortals, who may never have met
had sadness settled in our bones and never shifted

but here we are,

lying in warm arms, fingertips tracing old scars,
discussing our past—the last place we want to be

too open, too soon, but it feels so natural,
going against the defences we built before,

before us. before nights that last decades and
glances worth a million stars

our humour, a unique antiphony unfamiliar to others
our conversations, not even sleep can interrupt

we smile in awe at how strong feelings develop with
the right person, how blessed we are to have this

we have so much in common, like the phrase
‘I didn’t want to’ in our sexual history

we have so much more to learn, like how in a few days
life will remind us love isn’t easy for girls like us

I tell her I have never had this as she strokes my face
she uses the word ‘raped’ like it is her middle name

so used to sexual assault that instead of flinching
in horror, we nod,


I hold her closer than I have ever held anyone,
protection from something already passed

I tell her I want to rewrite our stories so we meet
sooner, so the bad things didn’t happen, so

evil hadn’t crawled onto our bodies and left behind
fragile shells of who we used to be, who we’ll never know

but she tells me everything happens for a reason
—I’m not so sure but it sounds nice in her voice

my name sounds nice in her voice

we press our palms to feel our still-beating hearts
grateful that we made it this far, that our bodies

belong to ourselves and we can give them to whomever
we choose, whenever we choose, however we choose

and tonight we choose each other

a gentle gaze sets ablaze as our bodies yearn,
we want this, our fingers curl, we want this

moans and whimpers escape our mouths
without our brains reminding us to fill the silence

we touch each other in ways we weren’t told to, with
a liberty too many women cannot imagine

after, we stare into each other’s eyes, moonlight morphs
into sunlight, not knowing that we will sleep the morning

away and wake to say goodbye to the nights
that changed our lives

previously published in How Will I Sound When My Voice Returns? (self-published 2019 under a pseudonym, republished 2020 as Lauren Elizabeth Taylor)

By Lauren Elizabeth Taylor



Lauren Elizabeth Taylor is a queer writer from Derbyshire, England. She is the author of Will You Still Love Me if I Love Her? and How Will I Sound When My Voice Returns?

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