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Image Credit: Parisa Parnian

I fancy myself a polite girl, a well-mannered and refined woman of poise, prudence and perspicacity. I’ll always say excuse me (though our bodies may violently collide as I chase the F train); relinquish my seat for the elderly and disabled (if my head’s not buried in my iPhone deliriously kindling Tinders); and thank you for buzzing me into the office each morning (unless you’ve proven yourself a stone cold misanthrope).

So you may be entirely dumbfounded by the revelation that I also stare. And I stare relentlessly.

I stare like a doe (DOH!) eyed-deer caught in headlights, except my eyes are the headlights, my heart the ignition, and my vulva the gauge. No brakes. I stare like an Icelander on a beach in Brazil; an astronaut discovering life on Mars; a mensch on safari in the concrete jungle (i.e. the subway) when the actual Queen of the Jungle struts in.

Yes, pretty, elusive tomboy dyke, I’m talking about you.

Behold, the majestic and endangered beauty who ca(s)ts a pheromone-rich, life-affirming glow that leaves me moonstruck and spellbound. My body talks through sirens and loudspeakers, directing me to suspend all judgement and eviscerate the rules; to deluge my senses during this peak total solar eclipse. By some auspicious alchemy, my wooden neck turns to rubber, and I stare and I burn, retinal damage be damned.

You are the sun and the moon and the ornate temples She created in which to worship you. You perch yourself high in the NYC heavens; too high for my 34th floor perspective (and, irrefutably, your own good). You are the kaleidoscopic poetry of a Persian carpet and the magic carpet ride. I want to plunge into your dazzling depths and bathe in your prisms of light, expanding and ascending with you, border to border, funnel to fringe, and back again.

You are a shapeshifter, surely, or, indeed, a visitor from another dimension. You could be a burrower; a member of a secret underground sapphic society whose psychedelic brews I long to siphon, straight from the gilded cauldron. Or perhaps you are a recluse surfacing but for work, food, and twelve-step meetings. Either way, ETD, you are the sole raison d’etre for my ruby slippers and corner cobbler’s livelihood, because I click my heels more hours in a day than most people sleep, wishing upon a star to go high above the chimney tops with your lemon drop (because I want the pot… of tomboy gold…at the end of my rainbow).

If I blink too fast, I might miss you flying the Park Slope Coop on your [hybrid moped, skateboard, bicycle] and choke on my snatched bulk bin apricot, as I lament donating 2.25 hours of my life to weighing lima beans and scanning diapers, wading through cult date prospects. You are the holy hom[e]ostasis-inducing Bostonian dangling from poles on Fifth Avenue during NYC’s Dyke March; the Los Angelesbian technicolor dreamboat reminding me the devil’s in the details; and the sullen, sapphisticated Parisian, smoke, mirrors, and sex, personified. I sketch beanies, bombers and vans onto the illustrious dance party set, but, alas, rose-hued shades will not a tomboy make (and when we meet in the wild, I pivot and ache, as beanies, bombers and vans do not a gay make #hipstersbrokemygaydar*).

You are Tasya Van Ree in rancher hats and tats; Jenny Rey in anything; Hayley Kiyoko in nothing (coating me with Feelings); and sporting blue, always the warmest color. Cobalt caps, ripped dungarees, wide open seas. My mermaid, my muse, I have combed the continent, foraging coast to coast for you, resorting to butches, bustiers and wet dreams. Substitute tomboys for cowboys, and Paula Cole and I are asking the same question, bereft and crooning:

Where have all the tomboys gone?

*Krista Burton, NYT article 

Welcome To An Ode To, a Salty series devoted to waxing poetic about the objects of our desire. Got a love letter you’re pining to write? Email us at  [email protected]

About the Author:

Marielle Horan is a Brooklyn-based writer (prose, poetry, copy) and future electropop singer who thinks in verse, dreams in French and sees pastels when she’s falling in love (#synesthesia). An aspiring Los Angelesbian and New Age devotee, Marielle delights in all things mystical, sapphic, vintage and botanical. You can channel her cosmic-political-personal work, including prize-winning feminist French fairy tale “Délicieuse”, on her forthcoming website and catch her daily musings now on IG @mariellelane.

About the Illustrator:

Parisa Parnian is a visual artist, storyteller and pop-up dinner host based out of Los Angeles. She recently launched SAVAGE MUSE, a multi-platform art, style, food and event studio that focuses on celebrating creative people on the intersectional spectrums of gender, sexuality, race, age, and migration.