Who is the guy in the relationship?

A poem

Elizabeth Grace
Aug 17, 2017 · 2 min read
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Animation by Grace An

We are holding hands. Her white blonde bangs peak out of her beanie,
and my ash blonde hair is pulled into a bun.
You have yellow hair.

‘Who is the guy in the relationship?’
We look at each other playfully (we have a tally going on).
‘Nobody — we are both women.’
‘Oh well,
you know what I mean.’

Well, I do —
not, actually — what are you asking?
Who tops, who bottoms?
Who pays for dinner?
Who makes the decisions?
Who fixes the furniture?
Who has more muscle?
Who wears the pants?
Who performs the masculine burden of heteronormative love?

‘The both of us are women; there is no guy in the relationship, it’s just us — two girls.’
‘Oh.’

You look disappointed.
‘I was just asking.’

‘We are both women,’ I insist again.
You look annoyed, ‘I get it — ‘

But do you? Because your vexation is so palpable.
Just to oblige you, because I know you are still asking,
we switch it up.
We both fight for the bill — it’s kind of a Chinese thing,
and she wins, often.
We decide things together, but given my stubbornness,
she lets me win, often.
We do not live together, so we share no furniture.
We build on each other, so to speak.
We have an inside pants/outside pants policy.
And we both look to undo the imposition of love-repressing scripts.

You look at us blankly.

I know,
nobody wins in this tally.

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