Fran's Lace

I was thirteen when Fran kissed me,
told me I was beautiful,
saw me not
in spite of or because of
gave me gifts of lace and self-acceptance.

I was eighteen when I first vanished,
the kind where you grab what fits in a backpack
and leave in the night, no
farewells or somedays
with Fran's lace and an ashy bridge behind me.

I was twenty-two when I disappeared again,
breaking everything if only to break free
bringing lace, not
food or something sellable
with me into the next life, lived on couches and in cars.

I was twenty-five when I sobbed before a closet,
broken and rearranged into what someone else needed,
dropping lace into a garbage bag, whispering
she loves me, she loves me not
thinking these were the sacrifices we make for love.

I was thirty-five when I cried again,
now with a smile as I twirled in a hand me down,
my partner peeking their eyes over a book
that's beautiful, will we need more hangers?
their only concern as I thought of lace.


About The Author

Robin Sinclair (they/them) is a queer, trans writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Their debut full-length poetry collection, "Letters To My Lover From Behind Asylum Walls" (Cosmographia Books, 2018), discusses themes of identity, gender, and mental illness. Find Robin at