Unbecoming 

There is no time
to write
to feel
and say goodbye

There is no space
for love
for grief
or imagination let off its leash

Under layers
strata of stress and obligation
we are compressed into
depressed imposition

Evolution has been hacked
our physiology hijacked
as we bend
like the letter C
over glowing screens

Leaves me to wonder
will this second fire
be the end
of our species
or am I the less evolved
obsolete
sealing my fate
with such antiquated thinking

 

After the March

On the curb

In a drug induced stupor

She sits

Curled over the baby

Inside

I know this much

Because of her sign

 

In front

Of an OTR restaurant

Two feet from the alfresco diners

On the street

Hell, it’s sixty-five degrees

in January

 

The hubbub drones

Over microbrews

In chairs rented hourly

With the Visas and Am Ex cards

Tucked tightly into wallets

 

She appears to be

Dying a slow death without notice

It makes me wonder

How’s that baby fairing inside

Is he suffering the same

Addicted to whatever pounds through her veins

 

Yesterday our newly elected

Buffoon, royal groper extraordinaire

Began the domino effect

Insuring her fate and the baby’s

Will not be unique

 

The very reason I’m downtown

Is over dosing at my feet

While onlookers

The privileged

Stuff burgers into their faces

 

I give her what I have

Several tuna sandwiches

Half a dozen granola bars

Three bottles of water

 

I touch her arm

She lifts her head and thanks me

Her eyes are blue

Regarding Leelah

(this poem was written two years ago and is being posted in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance)

dear Mr. un-evolved
I am writing in response
to your community press op-ed
last month on Leelah Alcorn
yes, before I begin
let’s get her name straight
her name is Leelah

this is the letter
I do not send
the letter where I am not eloquent
nor patient
the correspondence
that lashes out
juvenile
name calling thrown about

this is the letter I do not send
where I forget my religion
and ridicule your (anything but Christian) chastising
of a young woman
who had no recourse
to defend
submitting under the heavy hand of hate
told she had sinned
because the
G-d given parts bestowed upon her
did not match her insides
because she was made in all of our image
because we all start out as women
because you are less of a man
for picking on someone
not your own size
a child…a child

did you hear your voice when you shamed a teen for being
self-centered
did you read those words
before you hit send
did you know
being a teen
is a contract in narcissism
did you know that if you love them through
the acne
the heart breaks
support them as they are pulled in a thousand different ways
they transcend
did you know the worst you can do is to hurl
shame filled rhetoric
that’s what forces them
to jump in front of trucks
did you know
your blind and narrow view
of what it means to be human
is blasphemous
to the very messiah
you espouse to worship

something tells me
proof reading
is not your strong suit
self-reflection and soul-searching
are past times that terrify you
something tells me
that a real hard truth
would stick in your throat
and consume all you contend to be true

you could never face Leelah’s truth
you can never stand in the light she left behind
it will only grow brighter over time
eventually eclipsing the dark places
until there are no closets left to hide
perhaps that is why
your hate compels you
to compose articles dripping in inky ignorance
to shoot arrows poisoned with arrogance
at a community united in love
perhaps there was once a little girl
inside you
dying to be given
a voice
instead she just died
leaving you abandoned
an empty cliché of a man
so fearful
so sad
so devoid of compassion and full of false pride

no, I won’t send this
but I will write
I will fan Leelah’s flame
and pray
that as the dark night
sets upon your life
may G-d have more mercy
on your soul
than I am able to find