I use the blanket stitch my auntie taught me,
attach patches to denim,
create my queer dance party regalia.
I know, for us, the dance floor is a sacred space.
I know our bodies moving together are ceremony and protest.
I know, like any form of resistance, it is enough to get us killed.
There is a sadness in watching us dance here together.
The flash of strobe lights gives me glimpses
of our queer, trans, indigenous, black and brown bodies.
I am so tired of seeing us in missing posters and in memoriams,
in racist media coverage and mugshots.
Here we move, we laugh, we love. Unapologetically.
I long for us to feel this kind of freedom in the streets,
in our workplaces, our schools, our childhood homes.
Here, the flash of strobe lights gives me glimpses of release and escape.
We take these moments to witness each other’s beauty illuminated.
I know ours is a radical love. And being here,
our sovereign bodies dancing, is a radical act.
Molly Billows is swift waters, secrets and salal berries. Northern Coast Salish from the Homalco Nation, they were adopted-out and grew up in and around Victoria. They have been living as a visitor in Vancouver, on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2011. They are a queer, mixed, urban, Indigenous feminist, a spoken word poet, facilitator and a youth worker. They hope to weave together stories in ways that lift up their communities and contribute to collective healing, rage, resurgence and love.