love at the sidelines

love at the sidelines


We build collectives, chasing the adrenaline of freedom. Built through ancestral wisdom and shared bagels, the laughs and the screams. Can we tame the horrors of our oppressors, or is the bread broken away too slowly? Our love is radical, because of our regions. Whilst they congratulate others’ love, we’re scorned for not being careful enough by those outside of devotion. Skipping the studies for the streets, the institution structures our pain. We ravage in search of community, and eat dinner alone. We show up or we lose our sense of self, when did healing become individual? Trading liberation armies for instagram toolkits, we’ve lost the way. Technology betrays us as we search for relief. Queerness beyond the guise of attraction, bring the people with you. Our love is so powerful, it makes the Earth shake. We genderbend, refusing to hold steady. Darkness carries us forward, light makes space. We watch the world from the edge, waiting to be loved after death. In each breath, the resistance fights for sustenance.


step 1: search for ingredients


The collective is not built quickly or confidently. Vetting and six different grocery stores, but it surely gets built. Looking for the cheapest brand, ingredients to stretch. How do we ensure they have our best interest in mind? It is difficult to choose, there are so many good options. We check the politics and yet some things slip through the cracks, no exceptions or buts; we get free together. Will the ingredients properly meld as one or is there a disconnect? Quality or quantity, everything has been immersed for a final product. Avoid those corporate interests who prefer blood shed over humanity, power dictates all money. Boycott or back? Decisions made here reflect grander trends.


step 2: where shall we cook?


Outside, inside, at your apartment, or mine? Comrades have to share everything or else the space runs empty. It is only ever a matter of where and when, not if. Our commitment to each other is the only constant in this battle and we rely on change. Open the oven to invite heat in, anyway to diminish costs. No one can afford any of this. Altering locations week to week, conversations shared over nourishment linger.

Recipes learned in youth, shared in adulthood, and fortified with age. Our walls expand to ensure everyone fits, to leave someone out would be to follow our tyrant. Floors, pillows, walls, counters, tables as anything can be a seat if we get creative enough. All the duties are communal, we cannot risk a loss of resources as our reservoir is finite. 


step 3: combining ingredients


Peel, uncovering the layers desired to be kept secret. Chop, to destroy fantasies cultivated by colonizers. Dice, till the remnants of subjugation are so small you can burst. Knead, the pressure builds until the perfect gluten strands are clinging to each other in the same way we must not let go. Mix, as being intertwined is the best way to stay in this. Stretch and fold, new arrangements uncovered with every bend. Rest, it is our intermediate site of survival. 


step 4: it cooks, we wait


It is our time to pause, to breathe and recenter. I used to hate waiting for food as a kid, but it surely has become the only slow time of the week. Hours and hours of boiling, just like our blood. We channel the anger or it eats us. The bread is perfectly browned, slightly burnt, and delicately crunchy. 

Each ding of our timers, reminding us what we’ve worked so hard to cultivate. A meal and an opposition, slow dances and long gazes. We are all in love and in fear. 


step 5: share


Cooking takes hours, yet it’s gone in ten. Distribution through mutual sacrifice is the only way this is sustained. It is necessary and uplifting. If I have some, why must others not have any? To be self-interested is the quickest way to despair, and still they ask us why we show up. We owe everything to another human, place, formation. 

Carefully placing a portion in each bowl, slightly cracked or smudged. Dig in, respire, satiate.


step 6: cleanse


Rinse, dissolving missed bites and disputes. Lather, forming microcosms of bubbles and satisfaction. Scrub, carefully wiping away any cause of concern. Soak, an abundance of time is required for complete rendering and discernment. Absorb, as the water leaves so does the residue and obscurity, capability to discount is removed. To be uninvolved would require isolation and obtuseness. The air runs chilled.


step 7: regroup, rebuild, revolt


Their love comes with adoration whilst our treads in condolence. If sovereign, would it be brave? Our love cannot be on the main stage. And yet even behind doors, it commands the world’s attention. Our bed is sacred, wrapped in lineages. Untouchable by design, marveled by fear. Rest is to never be left desired or the revolution will falter. Words laced in release, as our stillness demands curiosity. As we touch, trust crushes us, we surrender. Attempting to rebel against the longing withers. Pick a side and stay, to trade would be subverting a standard. Nothing in our home is cherished for divinity. Unleashing the spirits through prayer, let our love exist. 

Back to Top