“ do you have a boyfriend? “

a poem by Melissa K. Mursch

he asked

& i said

“no, but i’m talking to a girl”

then he told me

a guy broke my heart

but a woman can’t give me

*he clapped his hands together*

what a man can

& i wish i had said

” no, but she can give me

a tenderness

a softness

most men aren’t willing to

she can give me

an understanding

of my struggles

as a woman

because she lives them too

& she can give me

a friendship

like the ones little girls have

bundled under blankets

in twin beds

she can give me

shopping trips

fashion tips

matching outfits

without shame of bruised masculinity

& she can give me

a touch

that only someone with a body

like mine

can know how to

anything else

i can buy

in any shape


& size

i like “



something about


a hot climate

makes my soul

& my body

feel more connected

more whole


less clothes

feeling my skin

on more skin

on my surroundings

being touched by the sun

the sky

the wind

soaking it into my pores

the sun turns into makeup

a natural glow

i know my hair is wild

but it feels comfortable

& sweat is often no burden

because it’s a reminder of this vessel


being cleansed

i tried to explain this once

to my photography class in florence

but i was met with quizzical eyes

& complexed looks

because this connection

almost like love

wasn’t something i could find the right words for

& maybe never will

i read in a class 

about native people feeling their ancestors guiding them

in their blood & bones & memories

& that’s my only explanation

that my florida birth place

is pulling me to the sea

& my mexican ancestors

to their home

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