barbara ruth

Barbara Ruth is devastated over the results of the US election and dedicated to resistance in many more than 8 ways. Some involve technology. All involve love of this achingly beautiful planet. Please find your ways to creatively join with others in defending the future of life on planet Earth. 


eight ways of being disabled in love

Originally published in QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology
Reprinted with the author’s permission



When we can
I press
my back to her belly
she spoons me
when we can
then she turns on her back
and we readjust the pillows
our hands find each other

say what they want.



We hand dance in sinuous tango, fingers rise like flamingos
then meet
for flamboyant merengue



The hospital bed positioned at last,
lips, tongue reacquaint
hearts race
neck muscles tense
pain and desire
battle it out



Saturday morning
phone rings
a friend asks, "What are you doing?"
"Lollygagging," I tell her,
"We've been at it for hours."

We're such fine lollygaggers
we push/pull ourselves up
go the bathroom, brush teeth
crawl back under the covers
My darling declares, "We need to get out more."

"Where would we go?"
We chant our demands to the walls,
provocateurs of the hospital bed.

We nuzzle
grab the trapeze
gingerly turn to the center
smoochy Saturday
and smiles


So careful
not to put weight
on a leg, a foot
so liable to spasm
not careful enough


Sex on the dvd
they make it look effortless
they never look like us.
"They're actors," I scoff,
remembering when I could move like that.

She has no 'before disability' memories.
Ah, but when we courted
when we did lines of honeymoon hour after hour
dark chocolate memories
make us laugh


It's the meds
the arthritis
the migraines
the cysts
the cerebral palsy

it's the seizures
the surgeries
tendons cut
hardware inserted
organs removed
incisions infected
it's heartburn
high blood pressure
hair falling out
it's the doctors
the wheelchairs
the crutches

the c-pap
the oxygen tank
it's the pain
it's the pain
it's the pain


Her skin smells of pears
I bury my nose in her nape
burrow under her curls, her clothes
to the skin of her,
rest in her scent.