POETRY: I am learning to let love be boring

(U.S. Election 2020: Night 3). 

by Nic Masangkay

When I had dating apps (when I used to date), 

I considered including in my profiles that I hate roller coasters. 

I thought “true love” was powered by the 

Gut-tickling high-speed swoops from high to low. 

Now, I’m more interested in the in-between momentum. 

“Enjoying the ride” I guess. 

Because if I zoom in closely enough between the peak and the valley, 

It’s just a steady, paced descent. 

To “fall in love,” I thought I needed the drop or the mph, 

Which means I thought I needed less time to cover more distance. 

I realize I can’t rely on the up and down anymore. 

That’s why lately, I don’t fight.

I rest.

I make sure we stay undefeated.

And I no longer offer more than I can give: so you can trust I got you. 

When the three of us get together, I don’t mention the election. 

I already feel its oppressive density sinking your heavy heads.

You both silently dissociate into the ground. 

I bring us dinner because I want to make sure we are all fed: 

I want to take the time to nourish what we are sowing. 

Transfer me your grief, and I’ll witch it into miracle.

I remember I was taught that love is violence.

To enjoy my suffering, I took the pain and called it excitement.

Along the way, I forgot that violence is violence 

And safety does exist and bravery isn’t boring. 

Tonight, I want everything mundane about you both:

The endless shine of each brown eye and blue eye;

The steady burn of the kief topping a packed bowl;

I’ll roll you cbd-thc joints on the side, 

So L can remember relief and fall asleep cradled in my arm;

M sits against the wall resting their legs over both of us, 

And we giggle quietly together at L’s occasionally loud snoring —

M’s partner of 6 years, our lover, passed out between us, 2 boos —

Our eye contact softens.

I want the sustained acknowledgment between M and I — 

We don’t have all the answers,

We carry more than just us three —

The precise certainty turns timeless eye-to-eye,

Forever becomes unnecessary now,

Our gazes unite in care for each other, 

For L, for the three of us, 

For everyone we may not know but still fight for, 

Everything that we rest for. 

Perhaps the world awaits the election results. 

In stillness, M and I watch L sleep.

Nic Masangkay is a Filipinx, sick and disabled, queer and trans survivor. They are an artist of music, poetry, and multimedia. More at www.nicmasangkay.com

Featured image is by Kathy Ponce; used here under a CC license.

Before you move on to the next story . . . please consider that the article you just read was made possible by the generous financial support of donors and sponsors. The Emerald is a BIPOC-led nonprofit news outlet with the mission of offering a wider lens of our region’s most diverse, least affluent, and woefully under-reported communities. Please consider making a one-time gift or, better yet, joining our Rainmaker Family by becoming a monthly donor. Your support will help provide fair pay for our journalists and enable them to continue writing the important stories that offer relevant news, information, and analysis. Support the Emerald!