By Luciana Arbus-Scandiffio
In the seventh grade we debated gay marriage. I was con.
I stayed home. Kept my hair in a braid and kept my braid
to myself. Tucked my name like a secret up my sleeve.
Wore hideous loafers. Ate full-sized boxes of Twizzlers.
Became rigid, a painting. Still Life with Social Studies.
My skullcap, full of doves. My face, a hot button.
Press it! Pierce my timid ears. In the bathroom eating
a turkey sandwich and Jenny dragging my zipper down
to see what was there. Con: my whole life riding
on a hyphen. Con: my hands blue with luck. An eyelash
on my finger. Two of anything can build a bridge.
The love makes me lonely. The love makes my family.
A slogan of roses. A crown of sugar ants
eating through the gymnasium floor.
Luciana Arbus-Scandiffio is a poetry fellow at UT Austin’s Michener Center for Writers. In 2018, she received an Academy of American Poets prize (selected by Dorothea Lasky). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Phoebe Journal, Cutleaf, and elsewhere. Luci has two lesbian moms, and is originally from New Jersey.