Two Poems by Anneliese Donstad






all we have is desperate hope and astrology charts

I want to capture this moment where we interlace our arms around each other
standing beneath ursa minor hearing the gentle movement of the Missouri River.

I want to capture the magic of a first touch
when feeling another human body close to yours is once again electrifying but petrifying.

I could feel your eyes wander my body when you thought touch was forbidden for us.
Now that you’ve touched me, do I still feel forbidden?
If I’m not forbidden, will you still want to touch me?

I fear the collapse of this newness will be like a dying star,
caving in on ourselves in magnificent explosion
for I know we only get one first touch, one moment like this.

The voices in the distance remind us of our connection to humanity
like how the constellations let us know we are a part of the universe.

I swear I can see our names spelled next to each other in the stars
like we are our own constellation.

This moment is a star that we hold in our palms until it inevitably supernovas.

Ash Wednesday

You cross ashes onto my forehead
and say Remember you are dust.

I am not dust, nor am I the dirt
beneath your feet.

You are not my god
and I will not get down on my knees
to pour oil on your feet
and wipe it with my hair
while weeping for you.

I rebuke you
like demons that harbor
inside of swine
throwing themselves
over cliffs.

You do not deserve my tears.
You do not deserve my dust.
I am not dust. Not yet.

Anneliese Donstad is a genderqueer lesbian writer in their second year of the MA program at the University of South Dakota. Their work explores the intersection of religion, trauma, and lesbianism.

Image: Dmitry Brant, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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