Poetry  —  December 27, 2018


Poem & Photography
by Mikaila Baca-Dorion

It’s just easy for them 

Isn’t it?

This couple on the train.

They walked on laughing together

Holding hands

And I felt that familiar something- 

Not jealousy

Not envy






Looking at them feels like looking at one of those

Impossible pictures

Where the stairs keep going forever in a loop.

It’s just

Easy for them.


It doesn’t hurt anymore, that thought,

But thinking it feels so odd in my mind

When I can’t imagine loving someone without


Without pain.

They fit.

These people,

They fit without having to carve anything out.

They fit without punishing each other.

They fit like puzzle pieces cut from the same board- 

No worries, they just go together, and that 

Is that. 

They fit like

“Of course.”

Like breathing.





I can’t imagine what it’s like

I can’t comprehend it-

To fit


Much less to fit somewhere

With someone. 

I am always trying to corset myself into this world,

Lungs burning,

Trying to remain small enough to squeeze by

Catching myself by the wrist to keep from reaching

For anything. 

And if there seems to be a spot where I might be able to exist as I am


It is always




Like a shiny pinprick

That thought hurts-

Not like the others it is newly cut

And still bloody.

The idea that maybe there is a home for me

And that maybe I was too late for it. 


They’re laughing.

He says something clever,

Passes a hand along the small of her back

And she leans into it,

Smiling because she loves that he wants to touch her innocently.

They seem to exist behind glass.

Not for the first time I wonder 

If I could just slip into that life

Like a drop into an ocean

I want it badly

I want it stupidly

And I examine all the parts of myself, 

All the edges and cracks,

All the things I’ve worked so hard to protect and repair.

It is not a welcome sight-

I am not a home

I am like an old ruin

Full of murmurings and cold spots

Full of dusty sunlight. 

I sigh,

Knowing the secret I keep so poorly-

That if I really had a choice to be otherwise 

I would have already made it.


I couldn’t reach them if I ran for a thousand years,

They are too far away.

They walk off the train, arms linked

Talking about nothing

And I watch them go

Like a hallucination,

Like a mirage in the desert.


Her perfume smells like forgetfulness

And it lingers.

Mikaila Baca-Dorion, lesbian, artist, and activist.
Read more of her poetry at
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