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Valentine's Series: Two Poems by Marina Blitshteyn

In honor of Valentine’s Day, all this week on our blog we’ll be posting pieces from our January 31st reading on intercultural dating and relationships.    Identity Love Poem   It’s not true that when I love you I don’t see race or ethnicity   To overlook it would be to ignore the structures that shaped you   Outside a bar in Buffalo some kids yell something at us from their car   It’s a little hurt but we say they wish they were as fly as us   In my favorite city you read Race Matters on the train back   Somewhere in Toronto couples astound me, you blame history   A little hurt but we both confess to loving this country after all   Here we’ve become accustomed to asking ourselves questions   What would our parents say? Do we have anything to declare?   How do we know each other? I mean really know each other   I want to see clearly how it felt All those lifetimes without me   I want all of the hurts to know And I want everybody to know it   So what else could I ask for? A million ordinary things together   A million ordinary...
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Valentine's Series: How Far Back? by Alexandra Watson

In honor of Valentine’s Day, all this week on our blog we’ll be posting pieces from our January 31st reading on intercultural dating and relationships. Our second piece is by Apogee Co-Editor-In-Chief, Alexandra Watson. You know those things your exes tell you, those things they say to break you down? Those curve balls they throw—too far inside the plate just to trick you, to throw you off guard—but meant to smash through something: splinter bone, knock you over? He says you’re too white for him. Correction: he says, his mother was right, you’re too white for him. He tells you you’re too white for him, and you wouldn’t expect to be insulted by something as ridiculous as that, but then you are.  After all, you weren’t all that insulted when he called you a cunt; it wasn’t that bad that time he said all your mutual friends took his side. But he says you’re too white, and your walls come apart. They crumble, they’re splintered, and now—there’s something that was that you can’t put back together, and all that’s left is cracked plaster on the floor. And the something that was is not the relationship, because you don’t give a fuck...
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Valentine's Series: Tongue-Tied (Untitled) by Sarah Thomas

In honor of Valentine’s Day, all this week on our blog we’ll be posting pieces from our January 31st reading on intercultural dating and relationships. Our first piece, Tongue-Tied (Untitled) by Sarah Thomas, was originally published in Issue 2.  I come to you as a scab picker. I was known for sitting alone after a grade school scuffle or a tumble off the jungle gym and picking off my scabs to watch the blood run. I was never sure if I did that to prove something to myself or just to make others watch me bleed. Whenever I have bounced ideas for essays off my boyfriend, he has often advised: Whatever you do, don’t talk about your preference for black men. You’ll make a lot of enemies. I hope he was underestimating all of us. This is what I’m scared to talk about. This is what I’ve spent near 30 years figuring out how to talk about. What I’m trying to say is, as a white woman from the South, throughout the years I was supposed to say: “Black” instead of “colored,” because “colored” reflects our history of ignorance. And then “African American,” instead of “black,” because “black” reflects our...
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