Three Poems by Vittoria repetto

tomboy femme
motorcycle lesbian

in my office

my bones tell me

she’s a femme

long haired 

gaunt and strong

in a leather jacket

boots and jeans

nails slightly long

when i say 

you can leave 

your jacket

on the coat rack

she smiles


but this is my purse.

i laugh,

my bones

were right.

forbidden fruit
at the party
hanging out by the stairs
i see her
walking towards me
in a yellow and black vinyl dress.
i see cleavage.
she’s my patient.
my eyes drop.
and it’s a waist,
and it’s a mini,
top of strong thighs.
i sigh.
i could hold w/ the length of my hands,
my eyes drop
thinking she’s my patient.
my eyes drop again
i’m doomed,
four inch black patent leather pumps.
i look up at the blue light.
as she reaches me
she says
your eyes look weird,
i nod at the light.
she looks.
i say
see your eyes look weird too.
she nods,
turns and heads up the stairs.
i do not let my eyes follow.
a poem of thanks
in my 20’s,
coming home
3am from the dyke bar
i climb the stairs up from dekalb station.
a monarch butterfly flutters on the stair lights;
lost from its course.
thinking someone might hurt it,
i wait ‘til it closes
its wings together,
softly grab the paired wings
wait for it to relax its legs;
once taught to me
when i was a kid
by the old italian guy
who grew morning glories
next to the bocce court on leroy.
i cup the monarch in my hands like a prayer.
out on the street,
3 young guys
coming from where i need to go
hey dyke!
where you going, dyke!
i figure i’m in trouble
then i remember
i still have the butterfly
and need it let it go.
i turn,
face my future beaters,
lift buddhist prayer hands to my face,
open and push the butterfly away.
it flies towards their faces.
the 3 guys duck,
confused and startled.
as the monarch goes safely to its course,
i too
go safely home.
Vittoria repetto is a native downtown guinea dyke butch who grew up in the Greenwich Village. In 2006, Guernica Editions published her first full length poetry book, Not Just A Personal Ad. Since its release, repetto’s first poetry book Not Just A Personal Ad has won accolades; in a Lambda Book Report column, poet and reviewer Rigoberto Gonzalez wrote “Poems of intense sensibility and gorgeous imagery are a rarity these days; but this book of verse by a distinctly working class, distinctly lesbian, and distinctly Italian American voice is a must for all readers of good poetry.” Vittoria repetto was the vice president of the Italian American Writers Association and edited the monthly newsletter from 1992 to 2012. She has been hosting the Women’s/Trans’ Poetry Jam at Bluestockings Bookstore since its opening in 1999.

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