The Autumn Girl in the Summer Country
We were walking, and I stumbled, like I often do. He reached a hand to steady me after I was stable. The gentle, strong touch on my elbow melted me. Is this what so many women see in men?
I’m an autumn girl, I bloom when the leaves turn and the crispness of death is in the air.
The old lady’s eyes crinkled. “You’re married?” she asked. “To one another?” We confirmed it. “Huh,” she said. “I’ve heard about that.” She smiled, now she knew lesbians were people who sometimes talked to her in the mall.
And yet somehow the summer sun beams down on me every day.
The day was so hot, I ran into the bathroom and changed into the tank top I’d brought with me. Once I was back outside, I walked with as much confidence and energy as I could manage. Heads turned. It was a small victory, after the day I’d had.
Joy brings me to the summer country; I walk the streets of a wide, sunlit land.
My grandmother’s face stared back at me from the mirror. Or was it my mother’s?
Remind me, powers above, that life is a gift; bless me with summer heat.
A mirror caught my reflection. Who is that woman, I wondered, before realizing the obvious.
Give me summer in my heart, let me glory in change and the fullness of the year.
He had glasses and a huge Adam’s apple, but he smiled at me as I took the bag of greasy fries and burgers, and I fell in love with him a little.
Let me take the summer country into the deepest winters.
The woman asked where a certain office was, and I told her. In that moment, there was a little sizzle of something between us that said, I like women, and so do you.
Let the autumn girl carry sunshine and heat, dragonflies and green, to fight the snow and dark.
I wore a sticker that said “trans dyke,” and dove into queerspace. Thousands marched up and around Boston, nothing but queer women and allies as far as the eye could see. Lesbian, bi, trans, genderqueer, butch, femme, everyone. I stopped looking over my shoulder for the first time in I can’t remember how long.
Show me the way out of the cold, when I’m trapped in the ice.
The wind picked up and my dress caught it, the fabric rippled and blew around my legs. I steadied myself on the short heels I was wearing and thought, how gloriously different it all is.
Summer, winter, autumn and spring again. Every day, every season. I walk through them all with deliberation.
“What do you make of it all?” my therapist asked. I had no idea how to answer. There was just too much. How could I ever explain? I opened my mouth, and sang of the summer’s languid warmth.