Featured Post: The Well of Loneliness – Sean Heather McGraw

I always thought
That I was prone to losing them right
After I came out or
At some point along the journey

(But growing up, everyone knew who I would be.)

My church saw
Only condemnation of our love
It promised to me a
Life of holy celibacy.

(Because we don’t deserve to be happy.)

To feel that unloved by every soul
That they demand my pain
— suffering – and call it just reward

(Only they deserve happiness and love.)

When she wrote
The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall,
She knew we all would crash
Why do people hurt the Other ones?

(One group defines itself by hatred for the outsider.)

Never felt more
Truth in her plea for mercy, for love.
Humans tend to harm those
already burdened and blame them-

(As if all people get exactly what they deserve.)

pain evidence
to them that we did wrong and deserve
punishment, and anguish.
Didn’t Christ say of the blind man that

(Christ, do you love me?)

Did not sin,
Nor his parents, but that his healing
Would show the great glory
Of God, and even the woman

(Can I be healed?)

Sinned was not
Condemned and their hypocrisy was
Known to all for they were
Greater sinners for their judgement.

(How ironic to be condemned for my love for her.)

I look at
Her face my joy is all unbounded.
In daytime and nighttime
Her face shines from the well’s water.

(Can you try to feel as I feel?)

My heart screams
Radclyffe. Don’t drown, we will save you now.
Reach out your hands to mine.
Light beams sparkles on the water.

(In our embrace are we healed.)

Sean Heather K. McGraw is a historian and adjunct lecturer and received a doctorate in European History from the University at Albany. She has worked as a public librarian and as an NPS Tour Guide. She has published a middle-school textbook, How the Irish Saved America, the forthcoming After Stonewall and a children’s book, Fiona and the Dragon. In her spare time, she plays her harp, rescues animals and serves as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

You can find Sean on Patreon and Facebook.




That woman is me

The woman sat flaccid-bottomed on bath lip
squash of emotions beneath sturdy hips
pieces of her, no-one ever sees
water on full, hitting porcelain as drums beaten to recall
steam filling small room, obscuring
her grave emptying breasts as they urge to droop lower in hour
whisper of a nipple, against empty arms
when was the last time? She felt hands on her
lifting drummed grief within, recoiling of sadness for
blur and smooth music of touch?
Is she still a woman able to appeal?
or become the damp drying of paper walls
pealing and perishing with carved silence
and who would caress the broken parts of her
with equal ardor? Not minding
how her stomach rounded and slid
slightly sideways in its phantom gelatin mold
where the folds of her neck roosted
her opening legs a trust, erased
for she holds within herself an
eternity of scolds and loose threads
disliking the belch of flesh around her thighs
or the downward pull of stretched skin
marking its silver lines across her
like marauding seafarers
she is told she is beautiful
by those who over-use the word and
glut on dispelling fears like caged witches given
their freedom
but in her heart of hearts
where rosy trace of girlhood is long swept and vanquished
and mirrors are to be run past and shunned
the puckering of her forehead, and thin skinned clavical
knows the real scales of her drying self-hood curling inward
in its invariable regret
she is not the smooth melatonin
goddess of her dreams nor even young enough to stop
another heart with any part of her
physic movement or grace
yet she possesses still
a smile, pulled from depths, capable of
illuminating others darkness
and when she is not
angered by slouch of age and
hours spent hunched over making
worlds with words
withering in slow motion on the vine
of her choices and that stayed
moment she quit opening for sunlight
she remembers the fleet-footed
girl of yesterday, taken in the arms of those
who would give her ease from solitude
in their reverence of her youth
though, it is not now, now she is alone
the bath filling high and her wish
to step into hot water and be absorbed by fantasy
to be touched again in feelings now stored away
only taken out briefly when facing herself and
the strange quality of her diminishing reflection
a voice within
rarely permitted to verbalize
the absence and loneliness of her skin
for if it could speak
surely those words would, catch the damp of her
ardor and unsaid want and cry out
oh just once more! Let me feel the rounding
desire we take for granted in youth
a touch through time, relieving ache
of years spent sleeping, back to the wall
hands beneath pillows, unwanted in disappearing skin
the burning of such need
a fire beneath closed eyes
seeking refuge in other worlds
where you are as you were
and have always been
devoured by your passion
the feeling of you inside, reminding us both
of life abundant
without loathing nor reducing
that woman
reaching out
is me

Your bloody daughter – Candice Louisa Daquin

What would you tell her

The you of twenty years ago

Your bloody daughter

Wiped on doctor’s sleeve

What would you say?

Lying there with your legs open and mind shut

Would you tell her about all the false starts?

Or pick a cliché, like time goes so fast

Would you sit by the river eating damp sandwiches

And say only one thing

Don’t forget

Oh please, do not …

Because it runs out

And the music stops

You realize you didn’t find

In squirming crowd and nubile bundle of years

That self-assured hand of worship

Divination and objection

Pulling you out of horror

A soaking crimson thing

Searching for tapestry within wider weave

Throwing runes in fire pits

Eating the marrow of after birth

To discoverment

What would you tell her to look for ?

Learn the meaning before running

Barelegged catching scratches, leaving blood

Weeds pressed at their fragile necks by the thunder of your sprint

Straightening afterward, leaving no trace

Swaying all, in direction of beckoning wind

Tumbling off high rocks

Their granite faces scowling

Disapprobation carved into their carbon

As surely as your little chest heaves with the labor

Of surviving