//mypoeticside.com/

Aislinn Wilson

I Don\'t Know What It\'s Like To Grow Old

“I don’t know what it’s like to grow old with you.”

I sat down to write a love poem to my then girlfriend, and the first thing I wrote was, “I don’t know what it’s like to grow old with you.”

I can still go back to the otherwise sparse page and trace the deeply engraved ink that rubs onto my fingerprint.

“I don’t know what it’s like to grow old with you.”

It had nothing to do with her in particular, but I know my failure to address my lack of vision did Theodora harm. I couldn’t imagine growing old period. I’d had a pact with my teenage self, I had decided that due to the untrustworthy nature of adults I’d never make it to the age of 18. I was on my third borrowed year, always one to miss the deadline, age 21, when I wrote, “I don’t know what it’s like to grow old with you.”

I’ve never been a “good queer”. I wince at the term, not wanting some further evidence that this piece of me is an abnormality, some further reason to believe this longing is not something I discovered but rather an aberration that happened to me. I doubt anyone will use my story to explain that it “gets better”. I don’t know what it means to be a “good queer”. I don’t know what it’s like to grasp one weathered hand in my own as I gaze into my wife’s closing eyes. I don’t know what it’s like to hear my child refer to me as a “they”. I don’t know what it’s like to see my scars and calmly consider how far I’ve come. “I don’t know what it’s like to grow old”, but I finally feel ready to try.