WARNING: This poem (and the series in general) contains material that many readers may find disturbing. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers and also triggers. The setting is a dystopia which is horrible for everyone, with rampant racism, homophobia, and other oppression. It features dubious consent, internalized homophobia, pictures of explicit sculptures (although they're amazing as art), and other mayhem. Please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read.
These two women
are thin and bald,
their ribs like ladder rungs
and hipbones jutting out.
One clings to the other,
left arm around her neck,
right hand down her black panties.
Her partner has one arm
wrapped around her back
and the other hand over her face,
pushing her away
even as they both hold on.
Come here, go away.
Even their legs are entangled
as they stand pressed together,
jockeying for position,
getting in their own way
and each other's.
It is a struggle that
neither of them will ever win,
in either direction.
* * *
See full-body and closeup pictures of this scene.
Ambivalence literally refers to leaning in two directions at once.
Push-pull behavior can cause serious relationship problems.
Love and hate can coincide. Learn how to deal with mixed feelings.
This stuff leads to dubious consent when it causes people to send mixed signals about what they want to do.
Homophobia is an unreasoning fear of queer people. Like I said, this setting sucks for everyone. Understand how to fight homophobia or stop being homophobic. When it gets under someone's skin, it becomes internalized homophobia. This undermines their ability to have healthy relationships. There are tips and instructions for overcoming it.