I watch your mother stroll through her garden. She moves like you and I imagine us here together—years from now—harvesting sweet melons and mobola plums for our daughters.
We follow her cautiously, just close enough to brush arms every third step. Wading in and out of the tide between us. There is a natural rhythm to our hiding.
Your mother pauses and opens her palms, inviting us to taste the bounty of herbs that she holds in her hands. We lean in, slowly, and feed each other litchis. She admires my satin skirt as I swallow.
Why—your mother asks me—does my daughter not also wear beautiful things?
She laments that your clothing fits too loosely, that your ink is harsh. She has always wanted you to appear softer.
Your lips part softly as you sigh in reply to her slight, your fingers wet with fruit juice. How can she not see your grace?
Before we leave, I kiss her goodbye.
Thank you for having me
Your home is so beautiful
Your mother doesn’t know we kiss, mouths wide open.
Hannah Yore is a queer, New York based advocate, doula, and writer with expertise in the intersections of gender, sexuality, and health. She currently works at AVAC where she partners with global grassroots networks to promote human rights-based approaches to ending HIV/AIDS. Hannah’s writing centers on femininity and queer culture.