Polyamorous Heart When I was hospitalized for my manic episode, I flirted with any woman I found attractive. My partner would hold my hand and walk me to my room while I winked and gestured and giggled at the security guards and nurses. They all knew me by name and would call out, “Settle down, Ammanda.” And I would call back something to the effect of, “But you’ve got me all riled up, baby!” My partner was so patient with me. He’s always loved that flirtatious side to me. Thankfully, he understands my heart. In my manic state, I knew I had a partner that I was married to who I could come home and be safe with. But there was also this other, freer, part of me that wanted to love and be loved, that wanted another lover, a girlfriend. That’s when I met LaTara. LaTara was a curvaceous woman, with thick thighs and heavy breasts. She had walnut-colored skin, deep brown eyes, and short, curly hair. Her laugh echoed big and bold. She was missing a tooth right next to her canine tooth, and that gave her a crooked, open smile. She wasn’t afraid to show that missing tooth. She always found something to laugh about. Oh that woman could make herself laugh! She reminded me of the first woman I’d ever loved. She was tired there and wanted to get out to her wife and kids, but I treasured every moment with her. One day she needed a dress to wear and I lent her mine, joking about how I’d like to take it off her. Another day she was tired from sitting in too small chairs, and I lent her my special camper chair that accommodated my wide hips. She thanked me and fell asleep wrapped in my blanket. She finally gave me her number and told me to call her Qu33n. I was so glad to hear she would be released in time for her son’s birthday party. I never did call her after I got out. But I am thankful for how she opened up my heart to realize that I can love and be loved beyond a monogamous relationship. My heart is too wild and free to be limited.
Ammanda Selethia Moore is a non-binary poet and writer who also teaches English at Norco College. Their poetry has been published in DASH Literary Journal, Literary Yard, and The Journal of Radical Wonder. They live with their partner in sunny southern California. Follow their exploits @prof.ammanda on Instagram.