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Tapas

 

The first time I thought I was queer
was after kissing my best friend in 7th grade.

Or maybe
…………………….. it was when I ate an apple.
……………………………………… The curve of the core and
……………………………………… seed so hidden and
……………………………………… poisonous.

Maybe
…………………….. it was drinking tea
……………………………………… with another friend and playing chess.
……………………………………… The way their lips gripped the glass, the ambiguous
……………………………………… power of the queen. The wetness, maybe

…………………….. the heat of the tea.
……………………………………… That gentle warmth blanketing
……………………………………… my face from the harsh winter air or
……………………………………… fogging my sight. Maybe

…………………….. it was the nachos
……………………………………… when I dated men, the game nights,
……………………………………… the crunch, cuts on the roof of my mouth, trying
……………………………………… not to chew too loudly. Didn’t want

…………………………………………………………………….to be annoying, maybe
…………………………………………………………………….it was the muffins. The freedom
…………………………………………………………………….to throw whatever ingredient in and
…………………………………………………………………….be happy with the taste, still.

……………………………………………………………………………………… Maybe I was queer when
……………………………………………………………………………………… I stopped focusing
……………………………………………………………………………………… on who

……………………………………………………………………………………… what or how I consumed
……………………………………………………………………………………… maybe I was always

……………………………………………………………………………………… hungry



IMG_0626Emma Rhodes is an award-winning queer writer and alumna of St. Thomas University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in places such as Prism International, Riddle Fence, Qwerty, Plenitude, and elsewhere. In 2021 she was the recipient of the Robert Clayton Casto Poetry Prize. She is currently living on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendatg people, where she will complete a Master of Arts in English Literature at Queen’s University.


Emma Rhodes is one of the finalists for the 2021 Vallum Chapbook Award for her chapbook Queer/Joy.

Queer/Joy attempts to define a queerness inextricably attached to sexual trauma, female and queer friendships, body insecurity and more. While it does not arrive at a definition, the collection follows the author’s journey healing from a history of abuse and coming to accept her queer which is fluid and changing.