"That could've been us"

She said as her eyes shoot like daggers into the pit of my gut.

Nothing else floats a reality to the surface faster than the sight of fear in someone's eyes pounding as hard as the heart in your own chest.

When you both know you’re thinking the exact same thing.

 

We both know we are here,

but the discomfort of not knowing when that might end

is the same fear we hold in the pit of our gut every day as we check our surroundings before we walk down the street - together.

 

They tell us to be safe at night,

that maybe we shouldn't go out every week.

We don't know why the dive bars with rainbow flags are so addicting,

but after you sing queeraoke at the top of your lungs and hear not only applause but sing a longs

this space becomes more than just a container for humans to drink in.

 

We just want to hold hands.

Feel the peach fuzz on their knuckles get clammy as your grip begins to tighten.

Want to share the fact in public that

I just met someone who makes my heart beat so fast that I think I might even pass out,

but it’s okay because it might mean they’ll be the one to give me cpr -

and I’m pretty much willing at this point to pass out all the time if I know that that’ll happen.

But sadly, even fainting won’t make me safe this time,

because my nerves aren’t caused by joy this time.

 

We take the risk each time we stand too close

that the breath we might feel on the back of our necks won’t be the ally that you pray it is next time.

Now even the slam of a door will make you hit the ground faster than the beat in any song that

you use to try and tune out the hate that they shoot.

Maybe, if we stay quiet they won’t notice.


 

Talk about others but leave out us.

Your parents would disapprove if nana saw so,

keep quiet now.

Maybe, in a couple years when you graduate you’ll change your mind

and if you come out now it'll make it worse then,

and then, it'll be harder for family to understand

when they already don’t want to understand.

So, Do it for them.

 

We know it’s tough to see your child fall in love.

Hard to see a couple live quietly on their own across the street

without a care to see if you care or not.

You want us silenced on the news and in your streets

because our colors are too bright that they hurt your eyes,

but even our silence is too much.

We can’t meet and drink and be ourselves,

so they rack their bodies with their guns.

Any knife they can find and use to cut.

Even their words are worse than some of them.

And when we choose to find safety,

walking alone at night becomes a better choice 

then holding the hand of someone you love.

We're told to hold a knife instead,

because somehow our touch pinches a nerve too deep for their own self control.

And that's when we lose each other.

And I don't want to lose anyone else.

 

So this is why we tell our stories.

We come out to prove that coming out is hard,

but we keep on doing it for those dive bars with gay flags,

because that's where we find each other.

Find the proof that you keep fighting not just for you,

you keep fighting because somewhere else they no longer can.

 

It might not seem like much,

but that stage can save a life.

And even if it's two feet off the ground it still helps you look out

onto a sea of reason for you to get up in the morning.

See your fight in every person

just to see them looking back.

We come together each week

to give you space where you can grip the clammy hands of ones you love.

Press your lips against hers with the confidence

that anyone who might be staring is just cheering you on.

I wish we had that luxury anywhere,

 

but that's why we go back each week.

They say we're crazy cause we do,

but we'd go crazy if we stopped.

We Bleed Rainbows

June 2016