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Grey Borders Books

Karuna Vellino


Karuna Vellino is a lesbian, non binary and disabled writer currently living in Montreal, Quebec. They write because they are a raw passionate human being and the only way to express how deeply they experience the world is to put it into words. Their work illuminates the experience of queerness, activates for intersectional feminism, and explores issues of love and loss. In their spare time they enjoy doing yoga, petting dogs, planning trips they can’t afford and smashing the ableist white supremacist capitalist cis hetero patriarchy.


from A Year in Violets (2018)

The First Time

Two queer kids kiss in a corner
hiding behind fog
we lock the door on our love
so our moms don’t find it

we are secluded
stuck with this secret

summer softens the blow of it  
and for a month or so
it’s kind of sweet and sexy

but soon

a damp silence settles over us
it is torturous
loving with one eye open,
our queerness  
made into a burden
the consequence to our love
is loss

for a long time
I felt love and loss the same way.




1. I never learned  
to love
in-between the lines

I come as a hurricane does  
or not at all

I love to fill me up
you will not love me
when you are full

even when
the house is empty
and I am not home
I make sure
to leave a space for you
in the bottom of my dresser.

2. Like sand
I can feel you
slipping through my fingers
I open you up and

there is a rift
a crack in the ice
I do not know how to fill.

To love soft
as dust settles on the bedpost
and not always have it returned
is hollowing.

3. I wonder
am I a shadow still
or has it just faded
to an echo

the way we woke up
and grew love so gently  
every morning

the blossoming garden
ripe and sweet smelling
warmth overflowing from our coffee cups.