May. 25th, 2009


i am standing in the footholds of my
history, looking up at a river sky from
a new york street like a boston street
like a san francisco street like a
maine street but here is where
explosions happened first, where
a queer kid took the heavy baton into
his skinned knuckles and said, "no," breathed
it out like it was life itself, like
it would erase the blood paintdrying
beneath his nose, like it would
reattach the spike broken from
the heel in the gutter broken
from the heel of the queen not
moving nearby on the pavement.
what can i do forty years later? play
my guitar like it's my heart breaking,
songs are sobs 'cause the curve
of a rainbow's edge can't contain
the sadness i feel here, surrounded
by straight women in purple dresses
and straight men wearing leather
shoes and queer men wearing little
white shorts who turn their
eyes from me, the too-queer queer.
i'm invisible in a place that
made me visible, and i'm scrambling
to collect pieces of queerness
as my colors -- red for blood, black
for leather, purple for the greyness
of who we are -- are taken
from their origins with us and painted new,
painted without pain, painted
by unskinned knuckles. what i can give
is not enough: sobs don't cure
assimilation, broken heels
don't glue themselves back together,
and i don't know if i have
the strength to take
the black baton in my hands
and hit back again
and again and again.



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