Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Daria Modon Remembers Stonewall

It was worth it;
in spite of broken ribs and teeth
(they always smash my face),
in spite of boots when they’d
knocked me down, in spite
of hospital and pain, stubble
bristles through scabs and bruises
on my face, long enough
for the grey stripe in my hair
to grow out again –
I felt like a tiger, the night
I roared from the Stonewall door.
 
You carry freight
all the time, for being
different. You like sex with
other men, dressing as a woman
to drink and play with friends –
for that you pay. Gay tax.
to bar-owners and cops.
Paper bags of cash
and blow jobs in the alley
if you’re lucky; beaten
and fucked if you’re not.
 
Then that fat filthy cop
who’d had me the night before
(I pay my tax)
arrested me anyway.
I propped in the doorway,
my moment came,
I had my say
 
and the crowd
 
went
 
wild.
 
 
Mercedes Webb-Pullman: IIML Victoria University Wellington New Zealand MA in Creative Writing 2011. Published in: Reconfigurations, Connotations, The Red Room, and several books including Looking for Kerouac, Ono, and Bravo Charlie Foxtrot. You can find out more about her here (opens in a new window).

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Categories: LGBTQ+, Poetry, Themed

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