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Dear A.,

It’s been a long time since I enjoyed poetry written by a man. Those were some of my first words to you, and they hold true a decade later. You read to an Austin crowd and I tracked you down online to say that. I remember wondering what you chewed on in the Texas heat—burritos, barbecue, the sour taste of straight white males acting like they owned the damn place? I accidentally ate chorizo in a quesadilla I thought only had beans, and I cried outside a panel after an octogenarian said no one under 30 writes anything worth reading. I lost my friends at a rodeo bar and sat with your first book so close to my face that your ars poetica became my own. No, that’s not fair. Your struggles are yours. Still, our common blue ground is that we’ve waited our whole lives for them to miss us, and it doesn’t much matter who them is, does it? I’m not a misandrist, and I’m betting you don’t hate breeders; we just long to be longed for by anyone not in charge. When you wrote me back—you wrote me back!—and said you understood my comment, that you didn’t enjoy much male-authored poetry either, I felt my blood pumping night-sky-blue and safe in my veins. Ten years between my love letters to you, more books and more reasons to resist the rulers, but the message is the same. I still wonder what you eat. I still devour your words.

Xo S.


Love letters to my Facebook friends project