What kind of lesbian would I be if I were born today I see your pictures on social media a part of me is envious of your freedom even though women many years before either of us had absolutely no freedom and only those with enough money could consider taking a woman as their lover it is hard to imagine each generation I suspect forgets the sacrifices of the last cannot envision a time when it was illegal to love my experience was never that awful I had freedoms many women still do not possess and I am grateful for that but sometimes when I see your youthful face and the grace with which you accept love how natural and easy it feels I recall how I began hiding in dark bars, trying to fit in, failing never one to play endless games of poker face I didn’t fit in with my own kind then but if I’d been you born in the sun with your turquoise eyes like the Donovan song I might have had on my arm a whole host of dreams and not dabbled in boys for a few futile and unhappy years or felt I couldn’t have had children and let my fear and my constraint decide for me the future you are the age my daughter might be and I would like to think I’d have done all you have done had I been born in a time of greater acceptance where women who love women can grow their hair and not have to cling to stereotypes or subterfuge carrying knots of shame and confusion, like blankets never stretched out and slept on I would have gotten a tattoo and maybe been less shy and apologetic I remember at 18 that’s all I seemed to do sorry to my family for not having turned out straight apologetic to those who thought our culture, our race should procreate with a man and not be ‘unnatural’ sorry to my friends for being the odd one out sorry to the gays on the march who thought with my dresses and my long tresses I was a weekend lesbian if they only knew what it took and what I sacrificed maybe they understand now but we’re all a little older and you don’t recapture what you felt at 18 you remember it like a language I spoke the language of trial and error I suspect you speak the language of love just a little freer so forgive me if I envy you as you walk past me hand in hand, laughing, the edges of your hair hitting your waist like a Summer tidal wave.
Candice Louisa Daquin is of Sephardi French/Egyptian descent. Born in Europe, Daquin worked in publishing before immigrating to America to become a Psychotherapist, where she has continued writing and editing whilst practicing as a therapist. Daquin is Senior Editor at Indie Blu(e) Publishing, a feminist micro-press. She freelances as Writer-in-Residence for Borderless Journal and Poetry & Art Editor for The Pine Cone Review. Her next personal book of poetry is Tainted by the Same Counterfeit (Finishing Line Press, coming out 2022). Find more of her work at http://www.thefeatheredsleep.com