Falling out of Love with Internalized Homophobia

there are secrets stirred into the jokes you’re meant to love

they won’t tell you when they slip a teaspoon of poison into your water

when you finally learn how to quench your parched lips

wet your throat

but don’t forget

this is not what love feels like

not burning pouring

down

not the fire that rises from your chest

not the sharp echo of laughter against your lungs

not the hot breath of

begging you to be dragged down, too

there is warmth that isn’t trapped in seeping wounds

do not let them demand to see you bleed

to know that you are a rushing, beating heart

tell them

this is not what love feels like