They told us we were never meant to be.
Never meant to be because we’re queer. Never meant to be because we’re older than our years. Never meant to be because we survived our attempted suicides; never meant to be because, amidst all our tears and tragedies, all our courageous fantasies, we made the grave, treasonous mistake of daring to be human.
Of course, we were born human, but they never cared to know that. To know us.
It might sound like something to take pride in if I said at least we knew each other. But there was never any pride to be taken in that, because from the start we were born together and apart; from the start our wrists were handcuffed together but the chains could not be short enough, would not be short enough, to let me see your face. All I wanted was to break down your walls and have you let me in, but I never realized that I was already inside – that you were already beside me, reaching for my hand to give me the memories that gave me life.
When I stood on the edge on the wrong side of the bridge, the midnight-blue waves surged up and carried me away, away, to you. To the little private beach where you drove your kayak into the sand. To the thirteen-story apartment building where we labored up the stairs in relay. To the boat where you turned around, breathing hard at the thrill of the chase, and hurled your shoe into my face. And to the walking path around that river, now halfway around the world, where you fearfully spoke your truth, where I struggled to find the right words to say, where we gazed at each other with new eyes and you took my hand and I realized –
I realized that we were not so different after all.
It’s a shame that they would never understand.
The years have gone but they, and we, have not. And as time now cycles through the rain I can’t help but yearn for that feeling, that nameless emotion that once made tangible our suffering and our love all at once. This emotion is carved into these memories that never gave, these memories that dragged us out from the darkness and spun us around and asked in silent, writhing pain: Why? And all for what?
From the beginning they’d set out to make us die, but we promised we would die together, on our own terms, we would jump into the sea of human happiness and drown ourselves in it. Determined, I stared through the mirror at the room where I watched your tears fall and I shattered it with an open fist. And as the blood, human blood, streamed through my fingers I reached around your body and held you close. Closer than we had ever been. Holding, crying, and closing – three acts of the infinite array that make up love, the one word they said was never meant to be.
Never meant to be, and maybe so – but they are only human, and so are we.