Kiki Nicole, female, 18, United States.

when i was little, sometimes
they called me A plus,
my mother shoved golden praises down my throat,
cloaked me in gold stars,
“you’ll go far”’s
i was shadowed by the height of society’s golden arches
wondering why I felt more comfortable curled up with a good book
then with the idea of curling up next to a boy
or a girl
or a nonbinary angel
i think i need to spend some time finding out my own name so
i won’t have to rely upon A pluses
Grey Aces
i feel pressured to discover where my place is within the system
i’ve never had a boyfriend
or a girl i could call home
never felt comforted by caresses and hand holds
i have been kissed only twice and i’m sure
i have venom in my lips
my partner falls in lust
but i’m not really feeling it.
i’m stiff,
hold my neck straight.
i wonder if the reason i don’t care is because i’m really straight.
being heterosexual is one of my biggest fears–
i look so good in queer
but everyone always forgets what the A
in Lgbtqia+
stands for.
if i only like men i’ll just hate myself even more but
if i’m incapable of love then
what am i even here for?
touch is my enemy unless it’s from my own icy fingers.
i linger on my chest which may be why i’m so cold inside,
why i shy away from what comes after the chase.
i want a taste of normalcy though i’m sure
i’m allergic,
a tease, if you please–
only comforted by me.
i’m in love with the idea of your touch breaking away my chains
i’m in love with the idea of your lips leaving stains on my brain
but the idea of not being alone
drives me insane.

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