Like A Song

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Like A Song

Poem by Victoria Lee
Art by Arfa Khan

A few words to remind women loving women that they deserve the world.

You were the softest thing I ever knew.
We were seventeen.
I patched up the scrape on your knee on my kitchen counter
and said you were getting too old for this.
Your hands cupped the back of my neck and I gave you a soft kiss.
A door opened behind us, we were almost caught that day.
Afterwards, you held my wrist, wrapped your fingers around the ice in my veins and said I was getting too young for this.

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When I met you I was papercut smiles.
I was rusty pipe dreams,
I was "keep your distance".
You taught me how to dance under the light of fireworks,
our summer dresses embracing the soft breeze.
You taught me how to kiss under the blues and greens and reds in the sky, the soft meeting of lips made my head spin.
It was all tongue and teeth and skin, love tinted with fear.
Love with an expiration date created by the setting summer sun.

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I expected a goodbye when fall came,
I expected nostalgia replacing the place you carved in my life.
But here we are, years later.
Dancing against the yellow of the refrigerator light to Etta James.
My heart grows when I see you laugh with your whole body.

Here we are.
A home of our own with a couch you collapse in after a long day at work. You find peace in the space between my arms.

Here we are.
Sitting on a fire escape in a city that does not blink when your hand folds into mine. We're watching the sunset.
This time it is not a marking of the end.
This time it's a promise of a new beginning.