The Garden

We walk through this life

Bent and broken from the start

Taught to

Hide our bodies

Reject their pleasures

Disconnect the physical from the mental.

We walk through this life

Confused and torn from the start

Taught to

Deny our selves

Reject our curves and angles



The old stories tell us that we’ve

Left the garden of paradise,

Not left but forced out,


And so from the start we are removed,

Distanced from that which makes us whole.

It’s not the garden of paradise we seek,

It’s the garden of our selves

Which is to say,

We are paradise.


After mother’s womb and first breath

And the start of singular heartbeats,

How many compressions of that muscle

Does it take until

Shame replaces discovery,

Until fear courses through the bloodstream

On vessels of oxygen?


We barely find ourselves,

Barely discover our own existence

And we are beaten down,

Exiled from the garden of our selves,

The return path overgrown and concealed

With adolescence,

With myth and media

With puritanical zeal

To douse pleasure with suffering.

We are doused.

We are exiled in our own skins.

Our skin is not our own.


How is it that fear has become so

Deeply rooted in our cells

That we can call it shame

But not fear?

We carry the sins of bodies

That aren’t are own

Sins that aren’t really sins at all

Which is to say,

The weight of sins is an illusion

So real it’s nigh on impossible

To crawl out from underneath

To experience paradise.


How quickly we are taught to

Cover ourselves,

Deny ourselves,

Hate ourselves.

The breath of innocence barely escapes our lips

Before it is transformed into fear,

Our innocence wrought into

Intricate fortifications.

We are not fortresses.

We are not meant to be battlements

Not meant to have moats separating us.


This body of mine,

This body of yours,

This body of ours

We are the ocean,


Our movements beckoning the goddesses

If only we could see.

This body of ours,

It is love under siege.

We should not lay siege to each other

After all that has been done

To our innocence.

Which is to say,

The shame,

The fear,

It is not our inheritance,

Not our own.

Though it has been handed to us

Over and over,

It does not belong to us.


The most revolutionary act

Is to learn to love our queer selves

In their entirety.

Start a revolution.


Learn to love each other

Let our love for each other be the fortress,

Let our tidal movement be zealous,

Let us reclaim our right to innocent,

Let us face our shame,

Call it fear,

Douse it,

Birth a new garden

And claim our skin.

It is our own.




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