Lesbian Avengers, 1994

Use your body as a bomb.

California, 1994,
cut out and painted cardboard
cherry bomb
costumes
on my Mission District
railroad flat
kitchen floor.

Non-violent direct action
tongue-in-cheek,
in cheeks,
we flirted and fucked and
and had explosive affairs
and platonically-leaning bed-deaths
and endless meetings
and civil disobedience trainings
and puppy piles of bodies,
in the San Francisco direct action trenches.

The mayor held a press conference about
buying assault weapons
for the SFPD –
and we stormed through,
body-bombing, sporting
hand-sewn super-hero capes,
avenging:
we were on the news that night.

Death threat voicemails
were on our line in the morning.

Use your body as a bomb.

We bombs,
wounded, bashful, boisterous butches,
fierce, fabulous, protective femmes,
flirtatious, eyebrow-cocked androgynes
(today they might be enbys,)
brazen kisses on Castro street
fanning our desires:
how naïve we were,
and how incandescent.

Be the bomb you throw.

9 thoughts on “Lesbian Avengers, 1994

    1. Thanks, Grace. “Use your body as a bomb” and “Be the bomb you throw” were some of our slogans. It was a wonderful, exhilarating time, and also sometimes terrifying and dangerous.

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  1. A defining time, too — your ending slogan is what poems evolve into, wise perhaps where we weren’t in younger years, that we can only resist reality almost successfully, as Wallace Stephens said. But how infinitely far that still can go. Great period piece. So incandescent. Glorying in the fuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my, this is the kind of experience which is equal parts scary and thrilling — such an assertion is nevertheless something that leaves a mark, certainly on the people involved but also in the wider struggle for recognition too. All these images somehow look to me like newsprint of the outrage or a scene from a documentary I once watched.
    I love, love this bit:
    “We bombs,
    wounded, bashful, boisterous butches,
    fierce, fabulous, protective femmes,
    flirtatious, eyebrow-cocked androgynes
    (today they might be enbys,)
    brazen kisses on Castro street
    fanning our desires:”

    Liked by 1 person

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