Vol. 1, Issue 2, OkCupid Hookups

by Jessica Hylton

Beware the newly gay
That's what my long-time lady licking
Associates kept telling me
When I showed them the picture
Of the first girl I considered
Going out with after my ex
Finally snapped the string
That had held together
Our yoyoed relationship 

But I couldn't stop thinking
About the way her lips scrunched
Together in the 160 by 160 px
Profile picture presented by
The free dating site I had to use
Because eHarmony’s version
Of Christianity condemns homos

I asked her out anyway
And wrenched my neck trying
To see how she trimmed her finger nails
And hoping she wouldn't notice
Me debate if her footware
Was really gay or if it was experimenting
Because of the Louisiana heat

Moments dripped into hours
As anxiety's sweat cooled
To a welcome dampness
In the aging afternoon
But I would have sooner died
Of dehydration than cut
The conversation short

To hear her talk of liberation
Through sexuality had me
Saying and believing again in all
The things time had scribbled out
Instead of erased and thinking
A questionable lesbian—the new lesbian
Could free me from the depression

I left her house with a kiss
That kept me up for three days
As I struggled to remember
Just how her hair curled
Around her chin and how her
Breath sounded in my ear
I think it was the fourth night
But honestly it could have been the fifth
When I finally realized exactly why
My friends said Beware


Jessica K. Hylton is an assistant professor of English at Lock Haven University. She received her PhD from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her MA from Radford University. She writes most of her poems on her cellphone while driving. She has wrecked three cars, but she finished her dissertation. Her work has been featured in the Lavender Review, the East Coast Literary Review, Cliterature, Visceral Uterus, and many others. She also is the founding editor of Fermata Publishing.