confusion truly

about heternormative signs and signals

about male heternormative signs and signals

about male middle-class working class upper class heteronormative signs and signals

i think i’ve been missing all the signs and signals

not sure if it’s about me as a bisexual woman

or me as a survivor of rape stalking domestic abuse

or me as a feminist

or me as an intellectual

or me not experiencing black men during my formative years in white suburbia

or all of the above

don’t understand it

the way my heterosexual sisters understand it

the whole mating thing


my mother says

i don’t make distinction

between a man who chases a woman

and a man who preys on a woman

it’s true i don’t

and here’s why

i think we who identify as women are socialized

to expect to be chased and expect to be prey

to submit to predatory behavior and call it romance

rape culture in respectability terminology

dressed in biblical convention

where no standards are spelled out just assumed

negotiated limits and boundaries unspoken

i’ve tried to conform to respectability of

conventional romance of that nice good woman

and still ended up alone

or wounded like all prey

caught and mauled to pieces

or else even more

confused by the bullshit

by passive aggressive signals and signs

left for me to decipher

strange and confusing allegorical lines fed to me

as if I had a code book to translate

black male respectability talk into plain english

when I really wanted was honesty as to

what the fuck do you want to say to me

or even better why not just risk the vulnerability

and tell me you really are on fire like the ohio players

a dance in the light cast by the bonfire of truth

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