Pen and Ink

During Spring Term of last year, I took a class called The Revolutionary 18th Century, where some of the works we studied included some seemingly Queer works.  For my final project, I talked about Aphra Behn, an English playwright and poet from the 18th Century who had a few Queer-ish works in her oeuvre. However, she never made them explicitly Queer, and instead vaguely hinted at the seemingly sapphic relations by misconstruing the genders of her characters. As part of my project, I not only analyzed her poems, but also constructed a few of my own in a similar format. The poem below is one of these poems, in which I hint at the Sapphic tendencies within it without screaming it from the rooftops.  

Rotting Fruit

Your lips were rotting  

fruit and mine were drawn to them 

like ants on a sidewalk – sickly 

sweet but on the verge of being a treacherous  

risk I was desperate to take. 

They tasted of the fermented  

grapes that linger during communion and 

I was on my knees in prayer not to god 

but to the Venus at the banks of my