Poem: I Cannot Blame Her

i loved a girl once

never told her

was too afraid of how i felt,

and i knew i would

be rejected

for she was with someone else;

but i could not hold back

my fear of these emotions

drove her away with my anger

because i am good at driving

wedges between myself and others

sometimes without meaning to

all my life i was taught it was wrong

even my mother once said,

"you better not be a lesbian"

as if it were some choice i would make

simply wake up one day and decide

that i wanted to be something she said no to

she always smelled of roses,

and sometimes her hair was pink;

she said she was lady utena

i wonder who her rose bride was

buried in all the oceans of me she still remains

underneath all the songs we loved

even under pearls of literature

she recommended

i find her there

laughing at me like lestat did to louis

i find no anger in her mockery

for i deserve it for wounding her—

i had dreams of reconciliation

that woke me up in tears

because i had to realize they were not true

i wish that i could go back in time and undo

every hurtful thing i said to her

and tell her that i loved her even if she couldn't love me.

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Linda M. Crate is a Pennsylvanian native born in Pittsburgh yet raised in the rural town of Conneautville. Her poetry, short stories, articles, and reviews have been published in a myriad of magazines both online and in print. She has four published chapbooks A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn (Fowlpox Press - June 2013), Less Than A Man (The Camel Saloon - January 2014), If Tomorrow Never Comes (Scars Publications, August 2016), and My Wings Were Made to Fly (September 2017). Her fantasy novel Blood & Magic was published in March 2015. The second novel of this series Dragons & Magic was published in October 2015. The third of the seven book series Centaurs & Magic was published November 2016. Her novel Corvids & Magic was published March 2017.