Joan Dark

Poem: Minefield

When I say I want to lose gracefully, I don’t mean that in terms of having a nice concession speech.

(When I do concede in love, in life, I prefer to go kicking and screaming because I don’t want to go.)

So when I say I want to lose gracefully, I want to find the perfect place to end up where I don’t have to keep getting hurt by all the loss in my life

Find the only piece of land, the pixel-perfect jump The only place I can stop that doesn’t send me into a minefield of heartache I’ve been there too many times, I don’t want to go back.

But then I meet new people and my heart flutters

Boys that make me feel validated in their tender masculinity Girls that make me feel empowered for my femininity and never apologize for being true And people like me that slip in and out of every definition you try to place them in

I love them all And that’s exactly what I’m scared of losing

Because I look at my Egyptian, out of shape, mentally ill self And all of the hurting that I’ve been through And I feel that I’m not worth loving

Trace your hands on my face Find where smoothness turns into uncontrollable stubble Can you still love me as I am?

Barefaced not because of lack of time or any perverse morals But because that’s the only way I feel seen

I’m scared of the answer, I would rather run than risk getting blown up again

Only after years of running did I find all my friends in the same situations I’ve been avoiding Slowly picking themselves up out of places I was too scared to even think about stepping on

Can we dance? Or even just hold hands? It’s real scary But I think I’m ready to fall apart again