Interior Domestic, Leningrad, 1988; To Brodsky; & Dyke March, San Francisco


Dyke March, San Francisco


Do the best you can with your burden.

—Radclyffe Hall


I am reading The Well of Loneliness,

wounds dressed in language, 


on loan from the library.

Outside, June blooms in Pride flags.


It’s hard to be proud alone.

Instead I take a painkiller and rest 


my head in the lap of sadness.

Night comes. No one left here 


but the protagonist and me,

tallying our burdens. One, 


we pushed away our lovers. Two,

we thought it for the best. Three, 


we opted for gay shame.

Of course the book ends badly.


Someone wrote Women loving women 

can be beautiful! in pen on the last page.


In line for tacos downstairs, revelers

trade in the queer currency of drama


universal and specific. Their voices 

reach me through the open window.


Masha Lisak is a poet and leadership coach living in Oakland on Chochenyo-Ohlone land. Her writing has appeared in Sycamore Review, Muzzle Magazine, and elsewhere. A graduate of the Brooklyn Poets Mentorship Program, Lisak is a former editor-in-chief of the Community of Writers Poetry Review, a Napa Valley Writers’ Conference fellow, and an AWP Writer-to-Writer Program mentee.