Cassie Premo Steele

What I Love About Lesbian

is the island of love in it, the Sappho and
fragments on papyrus, the skin of words
and the she. Moonlight, goddesses, spring
flowers, women’s bodies. The be in the middle
syllable. I will be. You will be. She will be.
They will be. Morphing and transforming
like menses and moon cycles and tides into
I be, you be, she be, they be, we be.
The we of it. The smallness that can only
be seen when you get skin to skin, eyelashes
fluttering, and you notice her lips get bigger
and darker as you come in for a kiss. The les 
of the we. The let’s. The less patriarchy, less
male gaze, less misogyny, less gynophobia,
less frat boy drunken haze. The lez, and les,
with a French pronunciation, les girls, 
les femmes, les sorcières, les poètes,
les philosophes, les mères, les soeurs.
The lay of it, like eggs, like rugs, like soft
round things that lay themselves down
close to the ground, like thighs. Hers
and mine. And the final syllable, an—
as in an opening, an affection, an emotion,
an ideal, an uncovering. The word âne
in French also means donkey, as in ass,
as in what we show to those who disrespect
us as we walk away, and what we watch as
she sidles up to the bar or home base or the
podium or the microphone or the courtroom
or the boardroom or the surgery floor,
taking charge, giving orders calling shots,
making plans, changing laws, changing
lives, saving bodies and so much more.
Lesbian is woman and full and curve and
wave and the too muchness of moon
and earth and ocean pulling on each other
with love and gravity, and no wonder
it came from an island because we are
indeed separate and green and lush and
fertile with our sweet scent of possibility.

link to video 

Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D., is a lesbian, ecofeminist, mother, poet, novelist, and essayist who lives with her wife in South Carolina. The author of 16 books, including 6 books of poetry, her poetry has been nominated 6 times for the Pushcart Prize, and she was a finalist for the Rita Dove Poetry Award judged by the US Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo. She also works as a writing coach to female-identified and non-binary writers from around the world. Her online summer writing program, Book Camp, begins in June; visit her website for more information.