A lesbian and her lover in Siberia

I can be happy in any old exile
so long as you are there
cabbage soup and potatoes under fluorescent tubes

Fourteen candles on December 6
make our own private Yule
safe from the patriarchy of Christmas
no babies, no salvation

What we write, we read aloud to each other
the page is cold, but oh so straightforward.

Questions and Answers

What inspired “A lesbian and her lover in Siberia”?

I saw the play Slavs! by Tony Kushner and was influenced by the fact that in the drama, a lesbian is sent to Siberia as punishment for her sexual orientation. I combined this with the thought that when we commemorate the December 6, 1989, Montreal massacre, we recite the names of the fourteen victims only. Now who, really, would recite the name of Marc Lepine at the same time? However, for real healing to occur, we cannot separate the victims from the perpetrator. The are all woven into the same cloth, which is our society.

A lesbians-only solution will be sterile, and no new life can come into being.

Both men and women need to search together for answers.

This poem “A lesbian and her lover in Siberia” originally appeared in Anne Carson. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 176 (Spring 2003): 44-44.

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