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Stories/85 , Issues/Arts & Culture
Sydney NSW, Australia
21st Jul 2017
Liv Steigrad has graduated from voyeur of social boundaries to outright agent provocateur in romance and proxemics. In this poem, she explores her sexual fluidity and demands space at the queer table.

I’m certain I’m awake, lying freckle faced bare in bed

your breathing a whispered response to the susurrations of my blood.

Platelets swirl and spell out questions marks which circulate and circulate until the blood that carries them reaches my lips and they part in query.

I’m certain I’m awake, lying freckle faced bare in our bed

yet your whisper breaths transform into words from an hour earlier and slide silky into my ears, insidious streams of doubt.

I say you don’t understand.

I say you can’t understand, not without the same oceanic fluidity rushing within you, stubbornly erasing the deep-trodden tracks of ‘normalcy’.

I say you don’t understand,

I say you can’t understand because I can’t find the phrase

my fingers fail to summon the simile that can make you see my sexuality for what it is.

But you engage with it.

You aim your analytic intelligence, laser-like, absorbing my words, attempting to assemble the jigsaw of my existence.

You’re unsuccessful because I’m engaged in the same attempt, I configure and reconfigure daily.

At times I am a loud, lipstick’d femme, demanding my space at the queer table. At times I frantically try fade myself into the in-between, become the white froth writhing between sea and sky.

Desires, like fishhooks, pull parts of me apart, fibre peeling from fibre as I fight to both

be as I am


be seen as I am.

I rail against the realisation that the communal embrace would cost me the individual.

That my fluidity may only be seen to flow true south.

I rail and rage and throw myself against the shore in the hopes that somewhere, in the churning junction of sea and sky and sand, the writhing white froth will stop and I will solidify.

I will step out decked in diamonds of ocean spray

Water and air coming together to refract rainbows across my skin

And I will be holding your hand.

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