What They Knew
In seventh grade there was a girl in my class and they all knew she was a lesbian;
she always played soccer with the boys and they knew she was a lesbian.
She had the biggest muscles in the school
and her hair was always up in a ponytail, and Jorge said, “it’s because she’s a lesbian.”
We sat together in art class. She practiced her calligraphy and I painted beaches.
Lito asked me if she had turned me into a lesbian.
She told me she had a crush on Javier, on skinny pale Javier,
but he told me he couldn’t date her because she was a lesbian.
I heard Sonia whispering that she should tell everyone she’s a bollera.
She said, “you wouldn’t want to get naked in front of a lesbian.”
I hugged her goodbye before Christmas break, and realized
she smelled of vanilla. I told Carla, and she begged me not to become a lesbian.
She asked me to paint her nails a bright red color,
but Manu laughed. “Why would you? She’s a lesbian.”
Once, we decided to chop half our hair off just for the heck of it.
Our parents yelled at us. We laughed. At school, they called us lesbians.
She said, “I don’t know why they say it with disgust on their faces.”
I said, “say what?” She said, “ ‘lesbian’.”
We shared cherry ice cream that summer, our lips almost touching.
My blue dress matched her shirt in color and stains. I wondered if I was a lesbian.
She moved schools at the end of eighth grade. She got a girlfriend.
I got upset. I stopped talking to her. “No,” I told myself, “I’m not a lesbian.”
I saw her again last summer. She said, “so, what’s the final word?” I laughed.
“Bisexual, you?” Sunshine danced in her eyes. “Lesbian. Definitely lesbian.”
Originally from Moaña, Spain, Area Guede is currently a sophomore at DePauw University, where she plans to major in Religious Studies and English Writing. Her poetry has been featured in Versos Desde el Corazón.