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Loving in the War Years - Cherríe Moraga


Loving you is like living
in the war years.
I do think of Bogart & Bergman
not clear who’s who
but still singin a long smoky 
mood into the piano bar
drinks straight up
the last bottle in the house
while bombs split
outside, a broken 
world. 

A world war going on
but you and I still insisting
in each our own heads
still thinkin how
if only I could make some contact
with that woman across the keyboard
we size each other up
    yes … 
Loving you has this kind of desperation
to it, like do or die, I
having eyed you from the first
time you made the decision to move
from your stool
to live dangerously. 

All on the hunch
that in our exchange of photos
of old girlfriends, names
of cities and memories
back in the states
the fronts we’ve manned
out here on the continent
all this on the hunch
that this time there’ll be
no need for resistance 

Loving in the war years
calls for this kind of risking
without a home to call our own
I’ve got to take you as you come 
to me, each time like a stranger
all over again. Not knowing
what deaths you saw today
I’ve got to take you
as you come, battle bruised
refusing our enemy, fear. 

We’re all we’ve got. You and I 

maintaining
this war time morality
where being queer
and female
is as bad
as we can get. 

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