Hunger Strike

How do I love you?
Liz tells me to count 
The ways but we both
know the ways are small
and easy to lose. The
ways are too small to
be picked up by any 
human’s microscope.
The ways are smelling
salts. Don’t copy me
when I tell you I can’t 
count the ways my 
husband loves me. Don’t
imitate my style and say
to another editor that 
a couple of tweaks here
and here makes your
whiteness count less than
it would if you were a 
black person copying 
another black, queer, 
genderfluid writer. I was
supposed to write about
my husband’s small love
but you’ve gone and mucked
it up. This poem is about 
his whiteness but also about
how I love him in spite
of the fact that he’s more
light than my bathroom 
tiles. There’s no finger snap
and there’s no mm hmmmm
in this love poem either.
I can’t count the ways that
my husband loves me, 
Liz, because I’m not fluent
in any kind of love except 
the kind where only one of
the people involved is white.

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