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Another girl who loves girls dies on my TV screen and people call it poignant. People call it “actually necessary.” People look at her crumpled brown body and call it a brave, artistic choice.

I call it a bag over my head. I call it dry-heaving into a throw pillow.

Girl-who-loves-girls doesn’t get to be called by her name in this poem because she wouldn’t be called by her name on the news. Girl-who-loves-girls is just a trope anyway, just a social justice lesson. Girl-who-loves-girls is just a body, just a prop left on the floor until convenient. Supposed to make you feel some kinda way to see her lying there, all that could-have-been slipping out of the room like air from lungs, or bullets from a gun.

I’m angry but this poem is not to say that I am angry. This poem, like all poems, is a safe space. This poem is not the only place I can kiss my partner without worrying who’s watching, but sometimes it feels like it is. Sometimes kissing her feels like a precursor to violence. 

If we don’t get to be happy, even in fiction, then whose blood shows up for shock value next season? Hers or mine?
—  Trista Mateer