Minefield

M

When I say I want to lose gracefully, I don’t mean that in terms of having a nice concession speech.

(When I do concede in love, in life, I prefer to go kicking and screaming because I don’t want to go.)

So when I say I want to lose gracefully, I want to find the perfect place to end up
where I don’t have to keep getting hurt by all the loss in my life

Find the only piece of land,
the pixel-perfect jump
The only place I can stop that doesn’t send me into a minefield of heartache
I’ve been there too many times, I don’t want to go back.

But then I meet new people and my heart flutters

Boys that make me feel validated in their tender masculinity
Girls that make me feel empowered for my femininity and never apologize for being true
And people like me that slip in and out of every definition you try to place them in

I love them all
And that’s exactly what I’m scared of losing

Because I look at my Egyptian, out of shape, mentally ill self
And all of the hurting that I’ve been through
And I feel that I’m not worth loving

Trace your hands on my face
Find where smoothness turns into uncontrollable stubble
Can you still love me as I am?

Barefaced not because of lack of time or any perverse morals
But because that’s the only way I feel seen

I’m scared of the answer, I would rather run than risk getting blown up again

Only after years of running did I find all my friends
in the same situations I’ve been avoiding
Slowly picking themselves up out of places
I was too scared to even think about stepping on

Can we dance?
Or even just hold hands?
It’s real scary
But I think I’m ready to fall apart again

About the author

Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

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Joan Zahra Dark

Hi! I'm Joan Zahra Dark, currently one of the worker-owners of Bluestockings Cooperative, a bookstore and community space based in the Lower East Side of NYC. I'm a writer and public speaker for my job and in my free time as well as a critic on various websites alongside this one! I love talking about queer comics, trans speculative fiction and why we all want to bang and/or be robots!

Get in touch

You can reach me for writing jobs, speaking engagements, consulting work and anything else at mxjoandark@gmail.com!