“I Found Myself” by Samantha DeFlitch

Samantha DeFlitch


In the pink line
of hair running
back from proud
Rapinoe’s face
as she made herself
a very wide set
of arms. Very gay,
I thought, but I
am skirting edges
of my small TV,
fingers pressed
tight at my sides.
What is the opposite
of out? Is it
dark brown hair
plastered against
my forehead,
or my shoulders
hunched over a
microwave dinner?
It’s deep summer
but I am closed
off inside a one-
bedroom apartment.
Some nights I look for
another woman
beside me in the sheets.
Some nights I become
a long, pale pair of
arms, stretched wide
like my open mouth.
Tonight, I am a girl-child
peeling shin guards
off my damp legs,
unalone, wild,
seeking once-joy
of my cleats on
packed earth.

from Poets Respond
July 14, 2019


Samantha DeFlitch: “As with so many Americans, watching the USWST play has been incredibly powerful—especially as a woman who sees herself in Megan Rapinoe. The thing that strikes me the most about about her is her willingness to ‘be big’—so many women are encouraged to make themselves and their accomplishments small, but she purposefully takes up space. The image of her arms spread wide, face held high is something that will sit with me for a long time.”

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