Untitled Art for Georgie Abel

what if we knew

i wonder if the haters
would still gossip
if they knew
i would probably make out with them
after hanging out three times.
it wasn’t always this way.
i used to believe in their words,
in whatever i heard,
in the tangles of lies that they spurred,
and in their lists of things
that were rumored
to make me
unlovable and unfuckable.
but now,
now people love me and fuck me
because of those things
and now,
i wrote poetry
in hopes of diplomacy
because god,
this shit is too short.
it’s late april.
since when it is not january.
because god,
prince just died,
and here we are,
because god.
what if they knew i wasn’t mad.
what if they knew i have defended
in conversation,
that i would give them a bobby pin
that i wish we were friends
and that i get uncomfortable when
their name is attached
to the word
what if they knew it took one exhale
for me to fall in love with them
not because i’m all enlightened,
but because they heighten
my sense of self
and who does that anymore.
thank you.
and if you listen
all of this shit-talking is mostly
a cry for poetry
in this supposedly
art-rich country
because god, how else can we ask for it
on this touch-starved
haters are howling for the wounds of their mothers,
howling for the anxiety of another
moment lost.
but they cloak their words in something other
than truth. because god,
we weren’t taught any other way.
and all of their words are
an attempt to smother their shudders
and cover these feelings of otherness.
because god,
i know this.
and i’m howling too.
i’m howling for something so basic
i can barely say it—
because god,
i’m tired of being called a hippie for this
feminist for this (call me that all you want)
pacifist for this
as if those labels are evidence
against my intelligence
and my worthiness
because god,
when did benevolence
become so lame.
what if they knew i know i’m no more right than them.
that i’m only doing all of this
because god,
what if this is what we become.
what if this is what we already are.
what if we have forgotten that there is an end.
what if i didn’t want to make out with anyone
ever again.
what if they knew that this is the poison
that keeps our hearts frozen
that this is just another practice in
preventing human connection
because god,
we are sick
and we need your medicine.
because god,
what if the haters only knew this,
if we all only knew this
if this was as unforgettable
as our own names and this, what if this
was how we moved
and the ways in which we spoke about each other
became evidence of our luminance
and what if this
instead of violence
was how we defined what being human is.

About the Author: Georgie is a writer, yoga teacher, and rock climber from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the author of Modern Redpointing, a handbook that applies the principles of yoga and psychology to rock climbing performance. To learn more about Georgie and follow her adventures, check out her blog.