Written by Alma Claire / Art by Joyce Lee


i wonder how many women in my family

how many of my grandmothers and aunts lusted after the female form? would have been burned as witches

but lusted still

how many of my grandfathers wanted to wear make up, felt like a stranger in their own body?

fought wars on battlefields and wars in their mind.

how much richer might be skin complexion be had colour never been written in the law?

how many of the females before me might have been poets or artists or presidents.

how many scientific discoveries and medical findings are lost in the minds of my grandmothers?

where in my cells lie the stories of my grandmothers who were suffocated by a corset and marriage? where in my blood hides the little boy my grandfathers once were, beaten for crying until they turned cold and angry?

somewhere in the woven threads of my tapestry, in the underground roots of my being, there might have been worlds and stories and lives untold.

how I wish I could know them as they could have been…

my gay great grandfather with palms sweating

trying to swallow up the courage to ask out the soldier at the bar

or my grandmother with the burning questions of the universe’s beginnings alight in her gut

instead they had to abandon themselves so that they had a chance to survive in this cruel world… a world that chews you, tasting for conformity and obedience

spitting you out with the bile of rejection if you are


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