Femme Friday – Pris from Yesterday’s Writing Exercise

Yesterday, I gave one of my students the following writing exercise:

Write a poem in the form of a letter saying goodbye to someone. Make sure the reader understands your/the narrator’s relationship to the person.

I always do the writing exercise with my students, and, gracious, didn’t Pris just spring up and ask to be written about!

Deep gratitude to my femme muse who brought me Pris and allowed me to love her onto the page!

 Dear Millie,

 Back then it was under-

stated under

the table

without a surround

sound of other voices

stories sounding real

sounding far and deep

it felt like just

us no justice

we wouldn’t have known

what to say, anyway.


The letter from your wife

she found our letters

so lesbian of her

to let me know

of your passing – I

suppose we might

have weathered dyke

drama been friends yes

I think we might have



“Millie left us last month,”

she writes and even

her cursive is femme

(I looked her up on facebook,

and she is. Of course

she is). “Friends have

been in to help me with her

papers, you know,

the Herstory Archives want

all this early butch/femme stuff

and tied with an old necktie

(the paisley? it must

be—the one I gave her

in 1973, silk, I dared

buy it, alone in the foreign

men’s department and I

know what they

must have been thinking and I was

so proud, knowing different)

were your letters.

Damn, girl.”


I stopped reading

and remembered: you tied

my wrists with that necktie

and fucked me and fucked me

you wore it to Eddie’s funeral

you might have worn it

at our wedding

if we had made it

that far


“It’s a wonder those

perfumed stacks of raw hawtness

didn’t burn the house down one lonely night!

Just, damn.

Anyway, I thought you might

want them back, but

the Herstory gals are

lusting for them, you

know, so I’m asking. You want me to give

them over? Or send them to you.

Just let me know.”


Millie, baby,

I remember, I keep you

somewhere, my heart, my

pussy — I have, even after we

exploded – talk about too

must heat –

so what the fuck,

let those Herstory gals

get an eyeful

of pure and dirty



butch/femme lovin’

‘cause we were so

hot for each other

I remember

those marathons

so, Millie, baby

let that be our

legacy let that

be what we leave

for posterity

that blistering passion

that butch/femme sorcery

goodbye, you old dagger

you old dyke

you old dear.

 (wait, let me put on my lipstick)

 kisseskisseskisses from your old flame, Pris

 Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it! New Femme Friday feature starting fall 2018: Books from which queer femmes can draw inspiration. What are your trusted sources of light and love? Please share!

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”)


Published in: on January 11, 2019 at 4:52 PM  Leave a Comment  
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