Lauren Michelle Finkle
Do I not wish for power
of a life?
But I am only safe in the dark.
I know that they still hunt,
even with the centuries of knowledge
thick like dust between the trials
It’s the same bible that they use
to condemn us in the new millennium.
So I send my familiar into the night
and our kind.
The torches are gone now,
along with the pyres.
Why kill with fire when there are
bullets, silver for the monsters
they see us as.
My familiar is the one willing to go
to the stake for a moment like this
a woman’s lipstick on her cheek,
lust like the liquor in a cocktail
with ice-cold shame.
I still confess my queerness in whispers,
the words translucent as folklore.
But the moon’s eye widens each night
and I will need to be ready soon.
For now I practice something that looks like love —
with lavender drying in the kitchen,
and violets purpling in the bedroom.
Lauren Michelle Finkle is a queer writer and artist living in Los Gatos, California, with her faithful spaniel Annie Jo. She received her BA in English and creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in the West Trade Review, HASH Journal, and Westwind: UCLA’s Journal of the Arts, among others.