"Every Part of Me Has Always Been Here"

Allison Armstrong

Allison Armstrong is a queer, white, leather femme, a kitchen witch, and a Professional Naked Girl living on an ancient seabed, and unceded Algonquin territory, in Ottawa, where she writes poetry, reads tarot, and makes things with her hands. Her work has appeared in Moonchild Magazine, Cauldron Anthology, CONJURATION, Hustling Verse, and elsewhere.

“‘Every Part of Me Has Always Been Here’ is a glosa of A. Light Zachary’s ‘Bye.’ Glosas incorporate sequential lines from the work of another poet as an integral part of a response (an echo, a rebuttal, a deepening) of the original, riffed-upon poem. As a queer femme, I find this poetic form particularly reflective of the ways femme queers riff on, respond to, promote, and encourage each other.”

     I remember that night
     The fight we had
     How you told me
     “If you won’t let me get you pregnant really soon
     I’ll have to conclude that
     my marriage to you has been a waste of time”
     How you were engaged again
     before the ink on the divorce papers was dry
     How obvious it was that
     any body that would have obeyed, lain

     with legs spread and hips open
     to the same goals       would have done
     I wonder
     Does your new wife know
     you wanted to check
     off on your life’s to do list?
     That you think raising your own kids
     is “babysitting”? That you wanted someone to be
     pliant while you worked out your frustration,

     wrestled with your hand-me-down
     white guy
     Maybe you’ve grown up since then but
     I know that fight wasn’t really about children
     It was about my autonomy
     getting in the way
     of what you wanted (me) to be
     Maybe, in this poem, I’m the moon,
     tidally locked to face your idealization.

     What is a bride but a reflection,
     the shining opposite of her groom?
     And I was groomed intentionally or not
     The dark side of me
     kept hidden in order to show you
     in the best light
     It’s been here all along Cherished and necessary
     Wanted more than you were
     Don’t believe
     the moon only has a dark side because of you.

Subscribe to our newsletter

for updates on long con magazine & Collusion Books, including new issues, workshops, and submission calls.

We’ll email you less than once per month.

Why are we asking you to subscribe?

Over the past three years, we’ve relied on social media to spread the word about long con & Collusion Books—but as corporate social media become increasingly extractive and unreliable, we’d prefer to keep in touch with you directly.