the kind of closeness that i

FEATURED WRITER: ALYSSA PYPER

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“I was terrified that they, they would hate me, for who I was,

that I couldn’t be myself”

 

“When Tyler came to us, we were horrified, horrified that

we’d been actively supporting something that was denying

our son . . . we want for him a full, happy life, we want for

him to know that we support him

 

1

 

Our night on the dock could have told me. But the photo

you took is still saved to a file on my parent’s computer—

hidden and holding to the mossy, templed covering of the

weeping yaupon holly.

 

Look at the way the water ripples slow, tracing the dock,

holding the calf of my dangling left leg. See how my shirt

matches the calming grey-blue, a soft evening song. Notice

my hair, falling in sleek wooden oars past breasts and slender

hip-bones.

 

And my eyes, brighter than the upturn of my mouth. Feel

them. They are holding you.

 

1.1

 

We lay on the dock that evening for three hours. You kept

mentioning bug spray, and that maybe we should go inside.

But I glowed, your shoulder inches from mine.

 

I counted to one-hundred-and-sixteen in mosquito bites

the next morning.

 

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LESBIAN MOMS GIVE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE!!!

 

We met on MySpace! Relationship effort should always

be 50/50. Always tell the truth! Sometimes you gotta be

spontaneous, bring home some flowers from time to time.

And what’s the point of being in a relationship if you’re

not gonna give your all? You have to give 100% of yourself.

Give compliments. Don’t be cheap!

 

2

 

“I never know how to act in those kind of moments, “ you’d

said, pushing my suitcase into your room.

 

I couldn’t tell you that all I’d been able to think of when

you’d greeted me off the plane in Orlando was your mom

as our chauffer. Her, never quite smiling

 

and the six weeks since I’d seen you last—the scarcity of your

texts, my two miserable summer jobs

 

and my mother. Growing desperate because she couldn’t

track my melancholy.

 

One night I woke gasping, sobbing, as if you’d been

pressed against me. Sobbing, because even in dreams, with

you pressed against me, I was whole.

 

2.1

 

The coming:

A nervous hug, a shared, half-true report of the summer.

A post-flight meal at your favorite Mexican restaurant.

 

The going:

 

Your neighbors lent us their paddle boat and jet skis. It

took us the whole morning to trace the lily pads and moss

of the lake.

 

All that life. All that water. I kept wondering why we hadn’t

traced it sooner.

 

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Two women meet in an airport, embrace for a good long

while. Slowly, the woman in the wife-beater T pulls back,

traces her lover’s cheeks with both thumbs. And then its
lips tracing lips

 

rewind

 

lips tracing lips

 

rewind

 

lips tracing lips

 

3

 

Like a lily pad pushed under

 

Seven more weeks until you’d be back

my mother

my jobs at the end of a six hour flight

one-hundred-and-sixteen mosquito bites as my carry-on

a fresh red burn on account of paddles and jet skis

 

But we embraced

 

3.1

 

The blonde haired woman wearing the fitted grey suit, aisle

across from mine:

 

Would she take pleasure in knowing? My arms wrapped

around your torso, splashing circles under an orange-juice

sun? The way we merged, moments before my boarding—

ripe in our warmth, your ear to my ear, my neck and breasts

and torso melding into yours

 

3.2

 

the closest we’d ever

the closest you’d let me

 

3.3

 

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