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They Outlawed Touch

They outlawed touch between those of the same body,
no twins, no sisters, no friends, no neighbors
an oddity, the way I wash my hair, the way
I bare my teeth?

get used to that word, perverse
you might as well get used
        to spit in your face
and know pacific as an ocean
        just some innocent ocean

get used to flaunting
your fists
reach across wall, ice, lock, myth
across lies we don't exist
while a candidate swears on a Bible he's no queer

I never knew what I was till I knew my name.
Lesbiana, the young girls jeer
and I know there must be one among them
swinging her skirts brashly
hearing her own name,
seeing herself
in me,
and I have loud names for this,
burnt kiss, singe
risk, pride
stronger tendon
fist hand human natural animal hand.