Weekly Feature

Out

All my life,

(with men)

I always felt

Obligated to wear

Attractive panties.

Not white (Black and red!)

Should have lace, silk

Preferably thong

Sexy!

I heard once from

a reliable source (I am sure!)

That all men are

turned off

By:

Holes in panties

Granny panties

Makeup-less faces

Grouchy women (Please smile more)

Bad cooks (Don’t burn his food)

Bossy

Self-assured

Funny

And intelligent women

I was always

A perfectionist

So, these false,

Internalized beliefs

Became facts.

My 30s (and some of my 40s)

Were spent

In an obligatory

Haze of:

Repressed anger

Hidden resentment

Black, lace thongs

Burned pans

And unwritten poems

Floating in my brain,

Desperate to come

Out!

So, today,

Decades later,

Fully out of the

Claustrophobic

closet,

As I slipped my

Bamboo, cotton (not silk)

White, (possibly stained)

Panties

Up over my bare legs,

I caught my

Lovely wife

Starting at me

With lustful

admiration,

And my brain

Twisted and painfully

De-programmed

And I went about my day

Being funny (we both are!)

And not always smiling

Being okay with

feeling:

Smart

Self-assured

Silly

Sexual

Sane!

Who was she?

I peek around

The shadows

At my younger

Version: I’m

Interested

Confused

Questioning

Her poor decisions

Her lack of

Discernment

And shy

Bumbling Ways.

Why did she

Spend that Moon soaked

Evening On the rooftop

With smells of

Seattle:

Steamy coffee and

Fish markets

drifting

Into her open

Nostrils with a man

Who only

Wanted to fill her

Warm, virginal

Places?

Why

Stay with

With the man

Who told her that

Her ass had gotten huge

Two weeks after

Pushing a baby from

Her traumatized

White

Small

Body?

Why did she,

After coming out

And sharing her

King sized bed

(With so many women)

Settle for the worst one?

The one who

Selfishly asked her

To accept their change

Of gender

With no feelings of her own?

Who was that woman?

The one who now

Watches younger

Women Pass by her window,

That is mostly covered

By honeysuckle and

Wisteria,

Wondering

Who

Was

She?

Original art by Lori Graham painted shortly after coming out.

Lori Graham is a late-blooming American lesbian who currently lives in Woodbridge, England. Lori earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English at the University of North Florida, a major she chose so she could read and write while earning a degree. She writes nonfiction and poetry about her life, then and now. Lori has raised 3 kids, who are now grown, and currently lives with her partner, 2 bonus children, 2 cats, and 4 chickens.