This is a poem about how a community collects trauma. I read this poem as part of Golden Bridge's "Youth, Truth, and Talent" show July 29th, 2017. *This poem contains content on substance abuse, sexual assault, and suicide.*The dancing was a collaboration between all the performers. Much thanks to the dancers Michelle Wilkins, Laurel Hauck, Grace Slocum, Christina Shore, Keva Victoria, and Miranda Gerzon.
Here is the text of the poem:
This poem brings Whipped Cream Burnett’s to parties.
This poem loves to make straight people uncomfortable.
This poem isn’t afraid to correct the Chancellor’s interpretation of their gender pronouns on stage in front of a thousand person crowd.
This poem used to listen to a song called “Hegemonic Blowfish.”
This poem’s favorite band is PWR BTTM.
This poem used to have wet dreams about Jesus.
This poem doesn’t give two shits about white gay cis men theorizing in ivory towers.
This poem wasn’t born this way.
You can bet your sweet ass this poem knows when to take a laxative.
This poem shaved off all her hair the day after the election.
I walked this poem home from the straight bar after he got kicked out for yelling “Fuck Donald Trump.”
This poem cried when we got home.
This poem is scared of men.
You wrote this poem on my collarbone with your teeth.
This poem would fuck you all night long, and all day long, regardless of substance.
This poem sobbed the first time she kissed a girl.
This poem doesn’t believe in healthy relationships.
This poem once got a ride home from a stranger on Grindr in exchange for sex.
This poem knows that being campy is a survival tactic.
This poem knows it’s less dangerous if straight people are laughing at you.
This poem wouldn’t say no to a line of coke from a stranger at the club.
This poem smokes a packet of cigarettes when he’s drunk.
I held this poem’s hair back as they were vomiting at the bar.
This poem will get fucked to forget.
This poem hates how sometimes fucking leads to remembering.
I see this poem in my lover’s sad eyes after they give me an orgasm.
I cried after this poem fucked me so hard I had to look at the sandpaper pillar of fear in my spine.
This poem called me at 4:45am to say “I legitimately overdosed. My dad found me in time.”
This poem has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Or Bipolar I. Or Bipolar II. Or maybe Borderline - they haven’t decided.
This poem knows the differences are invisible but the consequences are deadly.
This poem likes to take a couple shots before performing a drag show.
This poem gets double takes in gendered restrooms.
This poem hates when servers end their “What drinks will you have” with a “ladies.”
This poem defines dysphoria as an intense current under which you have no grounding.
This poem doesn’t want your pity.
I am devastated that I can’t even protect this poem in my own bedroom.
I started writing the poem the day a man in a pick up truck asked me and my high school lover to take our sick shit elsewhere.
I knew I’d never stop writing this poem the day my ex-lover stuck a bloodied note in my locker.
I knew this poem could never be unwritten the night she was crying silently in my room and whispered “I think they make that word sound ugly so that no one will ever want to say it.”
That word was rape. This poem is about rape.
This poem isn’t going to forgive you.
This poem isn’t about you.
None of this poem is for you.
None of this poem is fictionalized.
This poem was once angry but is getting tired.
This poem is weary but awake.
This poem keeps going.
This poem writes itself.
This poem never stops.
We will never stop.
We will never stop writing this poem.