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Ode to Queer Spaces

Poem by Dakota Parks

Comissioned for Someone Waits for Me, 2021

Under a velvet haze of cigarette smoke
roaring jukebox and TVs blaring sports
sweethearts perched on knees
territorial hands cement on hips
prowling for women or food or a fight
Oh, those dive bars of your youth
interloping on strange turf
before you knew places like this existed—
your feet melt into molten honey
the sweetest of homecomings:
under the amber glow of lights
women steal back the spaces
between their bodies
studs, butches, femmes, baby dykes
all sweat and stone
queens serve Vogue realness
dancing a revolution
here, the whiskey on rocks tastes like holy water
an ambrosia inside this safe haven
Strangers become regulars
become community
become family—
the faces may change
usher in new crowds, new generations
but this is your space:
a refuge to come as you are and love who you love


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