By: Emily Jacko
shy enough, straight
laced. strings controlled from above.
i was the master. at both
puppeteer and puppet.
such tedious work existing above yourself while
maneuvering second self below.
i met a girl. in those same hallways
i had been perfecting for the last four years.
with her, i was no longer puppet nor puppeteer
i was bare lips on her bare lips. i was
jumbled between secret
sheets. questioning, who am i? against
her paris perfume woven through
my hoodie to now scented skin.
but really, who am i? if not straight but
knotted beneath her body.
so, i asked for time. i needed to
un-ravel, identity mess.
each day she’d reassure me, i won't tell anyone.
i’d fallen asleep to, take your time and
it is my story to tell. not hers. she won't, she promised
until one day, my question was answered. who am i?
she told the hallway’s audience. i screamed sobs over text, please stop.
our locked lips, secret sheets she
didn't tell me. time was up.
i rushed home to tell my parents. instead, i asked
mom? dad? who am i?
Emily Jacko is a MFA student at Chatham University. She is a proud member of the LGBT+ community and is published in OPEN: Journal of Arts & Letters, Capulet Mag, Coffee Zine, and Panopoly. She is an Editor for The Fourth River Review.