“That could’ve been us,”
She says as her eyes shoot like daggers into the pit of my gut.
Nothing else floats a reality to the surface faster than the sight of fear in someone’s eyes,
pounding as hard as the heart in your own chest
when you both know you’re thinking the exact same thing.
We both know we are here,
but the discomfort of not knowing when that might end
is the same fear we hold in the pit of our gut every day
as we check our surroundings before we walk down the street together.
They tell us to be safe at night,
that maybe we shouldn’t go out every week.
We don’t know why the dive bars with rainbow flags are so addicting,
but after you sing queeraoke at the top of your lungs and hear not only applause but sing-a- longs,
this space becomes more than just a container for humans to drink in.
We just want to hold hands.
Feel the peach fuzz on their knuckles get clammy as your grip begins to tighten.
Want to share the fact in public that
I just met someone who makes my heart beat so fast that I think I might just pass out,
but it’s okay because it might mean they’ll be the one to give me CPR -
and I’m pretty much willing at this point to pass out all the time if I know that that’ll happen.
But sadly, fainting won’t make me safe this time,
because my nerves aren’t caused by joy this time.
We take the risk each time we stand too close,
that the breath we might feel on the back of our necks won’t be the ally that you pray it is next time.
Now, even the slam of a door will make you hit the ground faster than
the beat in any song that you use
to try and tune out the hate that they shoot.
Maybe, if we stay quiet, they won’t notice.
Talk about others but leave out us.
Your parents would disapprove if Nana saw so,
“Keep quiet now.
Maybe, in a couple years when you graduate, you’ll change your mind.
And if you come out now it’ll make it worse then,
and then, it’ll be harder for family to understand
when they already don’t want to understand.
So, Do it for them.”
We know it’s tough to see your child fall in love.
Hard to see a couple live quietly on their own across the street
without a care to see if you care or not.
You want us silenced on the news and in your streets
because our colors are so bright that they hurt your eyes,
but even our silence is too much.
We can’t meet and drink and be ourselves,
so they rack their bodies with their guns.
Any knife they can find and use to cut.
Even their words are worse than some of them.
And when we choose to find safety,
walking alone at night becomes a better choice
then holding the hand of someone you love.
We’re told to hold a knife instead,
because somehow our touch pinches a nerve too deep for their own self control.
And that’s when we lose each other.
And I don’t want to lose anyone else.
So this is why we tell our stories.
We come out to prove that coming out is hard,
but we keep on doing it for those dive bars with gay flags,
because that’s where we find each other.
Find the proof that you keep fighting not just for you,
you keep fighting because somewhere else they no longer can.
It might not seem like much,
but that stage can save a life.
Even if it’s two feet off the ground, it still helps you look out
on a sea of reasons for you to get up in the morning.
See your fight in every person
just to see them looking back.
We come together each week
to give you space where you can grip the clammy hands of ones you love.
Press your lips against hers with the confidence
that anyone who might be staring is just cheering you on.
I wish we had that luxury anywhere,
But that’s why we go back each week.
They say we’re crazy cause we do,
but we’d go crazy if we stopped.
Seantel Trombly is a young student from Boston in her senior year of architecture school. In addition to poetry and YouTube she is the president of a Women’s Leadership group on her campus called WILD (Women’s Institute for Leadership Development). Once a month she hosts an open mic night/poetry night alongside other passionate individuals called “WILD Words.” This event is put on to raise money for WILD by welcoming poets, musicians and even some comedians from across the city to come together to share their work with one another. This gives people the opportunity to express themselves in ways they may not have normally felt comfortable doing before.
Since this past summer Seantel has started her own YouTube channel for her poetry called Writing Our Makeup. By using this and her blog she is able to communicate and share with others to gain inspiration and context for various situations. She is very passionate about shining a light on inequality between many relationships on campus and in life, whether it is between gender, race, sexuality, etc. With the help of the other members of her group, poetry, and architecture, Seantel is trying to create a better environment between people and their experience. She yearns to live in the moment and teach others to do the same, to embrace emotions and challenges to constantly grow and become the best version of themselves. Comparison is the death of the individual, and she believes that in order to have a unique and beautiful society, you need to have many different attributes to it as well.